We’re now in the year 2012 and it seems as if the Internet is advancing by the minute, never mind the year. As time goes on people are realizing the amount of money that one single visit to a website is worth. Which brings the spammers and scammers into the mix very quickly. Having a little bit of knowledge about the subject could possibly save you hundreds of dollars for a new computer or worse, several thousands due to identity theft.
Most people do their best to watch out for shady links that are sent out via email but every once in a while they click one and have to watch their computer disintegrate in front of them. Recently there has been an ironic complaint about a SPAM BBB (Better Business Bureau) email going around (see here) that tries to entice the recipient to click a link by telling them there has been a “BBB Complaint” on their business account. The hope of this scam artist is that the business owner will click the link to find out what the complaint was in order to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Why does this happen and how can you avoid it?
This particular scam artist could be the owner of a website trying to get more visits in which case you might not have too much to worry about. Their hope is to get thousands of people to simply visit their website and a percentage of them will click on an advertisement to make them money.
The second possibility is that a virus will begin downloading immediately after clicking the link which of course crashes your computer to the point where you will need a new one or you can purchase software to cure the virus. It is believed that shady software companies will purposely harm your computer in order to sell you the software afterwards.
A third possibility is the scammer is actually a thief who hopes to trick you into giving them personal information about yourself or your company. They then use the information to steal your identity or drain your bank accounts.
Some ways to avoid this from happening to you is to obviously avoid clicking the links in your email. You can hover your mouse over the link and it will show the web address in the bottom left hand side of your monitor. Be sure that the address is the exact same as the link you are clicking or even just type it into the address bar yourself to avoid clicking the link.
If you have already clicked the link and had to watch your computer crash, then turn your computer off right away. Turn it back on and hopefully you can get to your desktop to restore your computer back a few days before this happened. Look online for details of how to restore your computer, it’s very easy.
Remember that we’re all very busy in 2012 and someone who tries to scroll through emails at a rapid pace is the exact prey these scammers are looking for because a high percentage of these clicks are accidental. Be very careful of what you are clicking even if you think it’s a reputable company such as the BBB.