Today’s “scam of the day” is similar to warnings I have provided numerous times in the past. Whenever there is a real or imagined intriguing newsworthy story, particularly about celebrities or natural disasters, people are drawn to the latest videos or photographs. Natural disasters, such as the Tsunami in Japan or celebrity curiosity, such as purported photographs of the late Whitney Houston from the hotel room where her body was found are great fodder for scammers and identity thieves who prey on the curiosity of people. The latest example of this involves photographs of a naked British Prince Harry cavorting in a Las Vegas hotel suite playing “strip billiards” with a number of women. In fact, the incident has been confirmed to be true. Unfortunately, links to these photos that you may receive from “friends”on your Facebook account or through your Twitter account or an email from a “friend” quite often will not take you to these photographs, but instead will, unbeknownst to you, download keystroke logging malware on to your computer or smart phone that can steal all of the information from your computer or smart phone including personal information that can lead to identity theft.
Even if the link appears to be from a “friend,” you should always be skeptical because, as I have indicated elsewhere in this website/blog, it is a relatively easy thing to hack into someone’s Facebook account, Twitter account or email account and send out messages that appear to come from a trusted friend, but instead come from an identity thief. And even if the link that is sent to you really is from one of your real friends, you still may be in jeopardy because he or she may not be aware that he or she may have been hacked into and is passing on to you, without knowing, dangerous keystroke logging malware. If your curiosity demands that you seek out this information, video or photograph, limit your searches to websites that you are absolutely sure are legitimate, such as, in the instance of the pictures of Prince Harry, the website TMZ.