New phishing and clickbait scams lure basketball fans with Kobe Bryant memorabilia

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(Image: Courtesy MGN)

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Better Business Bureau alerts basketball fans of new phishing and clickbait scams luring them with memorabilia associated with Kobe Bryant.

“BBB has seen this happen numerous times in the past when celebrities have died unexpectedly and is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scams mentioning the Lakers star and his daughter, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday,” according to a statement from the BBB Serving Western Virginia.

In phishing emails, senders use an eye-catching subject line and pose as a recognized news organization with exclusive video and images of the latest news, according to the BBB.

The links when clicked on can lead to a malicious website.

Clickbait attracts the public in the same way with catchy words like “amaze,” “shocking” or “never seen before footage” to encourage users to click, said a BBB spokesperson.

According to Verizon’s data breach investigations report, 32% of data breaches in 2018 involved phishing activity.

Here are tips form the BBB to avoid phishing scams:

  • Look at the sender’s email address. If you are not familiar with the sender, delete it.
  • Don’t click links in any email. Before you click, hover over the link to see where it will take you.
  • Look for spelling and grammar errors.

Clickbait scam tips:

  • Stay away from promotions of “exclusive”, “shocking” or “sensational” footage.
  • Hover over the link to figure out whether the destination is legitimate.
  • Use only trusted media sources.
  • Be careful of the clickjacking of “friends” profiles. Clickjacking is when scammers hack into social media accounts to pose as a legitimate post.
  • Avoid video redirects. Be careful of videos that redirect you to update your video player. You can unintentionally give hackers access to your computer.

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