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Consumer Affairs Warns about Bogus YouTube Links

According to the SCDCA (South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs), computer users need to watch out for a freshly launched scam that spoofs YouTube links.

Commenting on the scam, Alice Brooks at SCDCA said that ID thieves are using hoax e-mail addresses to send to people fake e-mails with malicious YouTube links, as reported by WACH on October 15, 2008.

Also, describing the method of operation of the scam, Brooks said that the malicious links to YouTube items are spread via e-mail to consumers who when click on them are led to a phony YouTube Website, a phishing YouTube site. And when users land up on the malicious site, they are told that they must download a program to watch the videos. But as soon as users start downloading the program, they unknowingly download a malware onto their systems.

Security investigators at SCDCA said that the malware monitors keystrokes to record confidential passwords as well as steals the user's personal information. This, according to the investigators, could create havoc in the user's life as the malware owner has access to the victim's sensitive financial data, PIN number, Social Security number, in other words, the user's complete identity.

Hence, to protect from the new scam, SCDCA officials suggest internet users to avoid clicking on links sent in e-mails though they might appear legitimate.

SCDCA Administrator Brandolyn Thomas Pinkston said that anyone who wanted to watch anything on YouTube must go to the site directly, as reported by CONSUMER WATCH on October15, 2008.

More specifically, according to some SCDCA officials, if consumers wished to watch SCDCA videos, they could go to YouTube and enter SC Department of Consumer Affairs, or access the Department's website at http://www.scconsumer.gov. Here they could view SCDCA TV and get lots of helpful information while remain safe from the current phishing scam, the officials explained.

Meanwhile, security investigators commented that the latest scam indicates how most internet users casually click on links they receive from online acquaintances without paying attention to their authenticity, or realizing that the message could be a phishing scam.

Related article: Consumer NZ Website Encounters Hack

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