5 Tips to Avoid bin Laden Scams

After Osama bin Ladens Death a flurry of internet scams hit the internet. Most notably scam emails with links to pictures, videos and phony Facebook messages with links to videos that don’t exist.

When clicking these links your PC can be infected with a RAT which is a remote access Trojan and all your information may end up in the hands of a criminal.

Bottom Line: Be wary of any unsolicited messages that claim to have news on bin Laden, and never click on links or attachments included in these messages.

Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim:

1)    Never download or click anything from an unknown source. If you really think your friend is sending you a video clip, double-check with the friend to be sure before you click on the link.

2)    Before clicking on any links related to the news, check to see that the address is going to a well-established site. If it is a shortened URL, use a URL preview tool such as http://hugeurl.com/, to make sure it is safe to click on.

3)    The most common threats are links to spam and malware. Buy consumer security software from a reputable, well known vendor, such as McAfee, and make sure the suite includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-phishing, a two-way firewall, and a website safety advisor to stay protected against newly discovered malware and spam.

4)    If your social media account has been compromised, change your password immediately and delete all dangerous messages and links. Also, let your friends know that your account could be sending them spam in your name.

5)    Contact the Cybercrime Response Unit at www.mcafee.com/cru, an online help center for advice and technical assistance, if you think you’ve been a victim of a cybercrime.

To sign up to receive alerts by email, please visit: http://home.mcafee.com/consumer-threats-signup. To see if your machine has been infected, scan your computer for free using McAfee Security Scan Plus: http://us.mcafee.com/root/mfs/default.asp?cid= 9913

Robert Siciliano is a McAfee Consultant and Identity Theft Expert. See him discussing how to protect yourself from identity theft on CounterIdentityTheft.com. (Disclosures)

2 replies
  1. Dale Penn
    Dale Penn says:


    I have a brand new PC loaded with Windows 7 and Microsoft Essentials.

    Last week I clicked on a Bin Ladin message sent to me via Facebook.

    Question, how do I tell if I’m infected or not?

    Thanks for your passion about this topic. I hope to shake your hand one day.

    Dale Penn

    • Robert Siciliano
      Robert Siciliano says:

      Hi Dale,
      Your AV should have a full system scan option. Run it to see if any infection occurred. However Microsoft may not update their virus definitions for a week at a time, not sure. Run a full system scan at least every week. And consider upgrading your AV to a McAfee Total Protection solution.

      Thanks for the kind feedback.


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