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Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Social Media Scams and How-to Protect Yourself

As reported by BBC, scammers are capitalizing on the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 via social media posts promising video footage of the incident. Instead, these posts are linking social media users to spam or offensive content. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also reported that fake tribute Facebook pages have been created by scammers to re-direct people to websites with dubious advertisements, where scammers will profit on each advertisement click.

While it is unfortunate that scammers would look to capitalize on this tragic incident, this is a common tactic that happens all too often to take advantage of unsuspecting people. Norton would like to share these best practices to help you take steps to protect yourself on social networks.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Scammers on Social Media Networks

  • Do not click on links contained in social posts or direct messages from unknown sources.
  • Do not donate money through wire transfer services or similarly untraceable methods of payment. Unfortunately, donation scams are opportunistic in that world news garners attention from people who want to help victims and those affected. Instead, reach out to reputable charities and organizations with secured donation venues. 
  • Flag and report suspicious content via Twitter Violations and Facebook  Violations.
  • If you have fallen victim to and shared a post with spammy links, you can delete these posts from your timeline. 
  • Be skeptical of social media accounts claiming to be dedicated to victims of the MH17 tragedy. Especially those that request you to donate money to the victims.

Be vigilant. Symantec threat intelligence has uncovered that scammers’ continue to look for gains in the wake of world news and will use appeals of emotion to lure victims, as shown in scams that surfaced around Typhoon Haiyan and celebrity ‘Rest In Peace’ scams.

Related Articles

Social Media Scams, Diet Pills: http://community.norton.com/t5/Norton-Protection-Blog/Security-Experts-Pin-So-Called-Miracle-Diets-As-Social-Scams/ba-p/1156138

Spam and Scams to Avoid on Facebook, a Symantec whitepaper http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/scams_and_spam_to_avoid_on_facebook.pdf