Scammers are using the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 to hack PCs with malware the ACCC’s SCAMwatch has warned.
The most common form is video links, with claims that the plane has been found, via social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
By clicking on the link, you may infect your PC with malware, which can be used to obtain passwords and other confidential details, and allow cyber criminals to gain remote access to your computer.
“Scammers use a range of tools to trick people under the guise of topical stories or events, such as spam emails with malicious content, selling fake tickets to an event in high demand, or seeking donations to fake charities,” warned ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.
One example currently doing the rounds says ‘Malaysia Plane (MH-370) Has Been Found Near Bermuda Triangle. BBC News: Recent Video Released!’, which goes through to a fake website that asks you to install software.
SCAMwatch offers the following advice on dealing with online scams
If you receive an email or social media message out of the blue from a stranger claiming to have information or news on Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, do not click on any links or open attachments – just press ‘delete’.
If you want to access footage or information about major or breaking news, use a reliable news source rather than an unknown web link – there are many reputable online news sites where you can safely access credible information.
Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
If you think your computer’s security has been compromised, use your security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
The Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online website provides regular warnings about online threats.
You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or call 1300 795 995.