Click-bait scams could spell disaster for online users
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
Clicking a link, or a pop-up ad, on social media, or the internet, is tempting.
But you should heed a warning to think twice, before you click. Click-bating is a huge issue on all social media platforms. Anything with specific wording, designed to draw you in with a familiar catch. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Ever see a headline on the internet that reads shocking, exclusive or sensational footage? It might be a ruse. David Smitherman is the Local President of the Better Business Bureau agreed. "You need to be awfully careful before you stop and click on something, Is this really possible?" said Smitherman.
Chances are it's not. Smitherman explained, "It could be, you're going to win $2 million and there are all kinds of things it could be. People are drawn into this, all the time."
But people we spoke with on the street, said they are a lot more click bait savvy. One woman said, "It's bait, it's not really news. Right?" Precious Hill responded to the question of what she reads when she comes across pop-ups. "Free. Get it now," said Hill.
It's not just senior citizens who need to be on the look out. The BBB said millennials ages 18-24 are three times more likely to not recognize a scam. Hill has her guard up. "9/10, a pop-up is usually a virus," stated Hill.
Smitherman said the young and educated can be most vulnerable because they are less cautious with online purchases. Smitherman said, "The best way to guard against these sorts of things is just to always be alert."
Smitherman said scamming is a $50 billion industry. He recommended hovering over links before you click it. Don't always trust what your friends sends you either. Including e-mails with catchy subject lines like "you don't want to miss this". They may not be from your friend.