People are always interested in gossip, photos, videos, stories and news about celebrities. Unfortunately, scam artists know this and take advantage of our curiosity to lure us to click on links that promise to provide photographs and videos as well as interest grabbing stories about the celebrities who fascinate the public. It is for this reason that former Harry Potter actress Emma Watson is the most dangerous woman on the Internet. One out of every eight searches for photographs of Emma Watson will end up downloading malware that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft. The most recent manifestation of our fascination with celebrities to scam us is a scam that is presently circulating on the Internet involves rapper Eminem. Many people are finding on their Facebook page a photograph of a stabbed person’s back along with a message that states “Rapper Eminem left nearly DEAD after being stabbed 4 times in NYC! Warning, 18+! It was all caught on surveillance video! Click the pic to play the video!” The truth is that Eminem was not stabbed. In fact, the same photograph was used in 2011 as a part of a scam in which the photograph was purported to be a shot of the back of Justin Beiber following a stabbing attack. If you click on the video, one of two things may happen, both of which are not good. The most benign result is that you will be directed to a website where you are promised prizes if you complete a survey. The truth is that you won’t get any prizes, but the scammer gets paid for everyone who takes the surveys. The second, more dangerous result is that when you click on the link, you will unwittingly download keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the data from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.
Do not click on links or download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that the source is legitimate. The risk is too great. Stick to legitimate websites with which you are familiar and don’t fall for the lures of emails with attachments that promise you stories, photos or videos of famous people. For celebrity gossip, stick to websites that you know are legitimate such as TMZ. It is also important to make sure that you keep all of your computers, smart phones, tablets and other portable devices protected by security software that is up to date.