The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has helped raise over $80 million for the ALS Association. Unfortunately, con artists are also exploiting the trend. This post discusses 2 of the most popular methods in use, and how you can avoid being taken.
The main method scammers are using is that of “click bait” – posting links that claim to take the user to a novelle video (such as a celebrity getting ice water dumped on them). The link instead goes to any number of targets designed to encourage identity theft, to steal personal data, or embed malware or spyware on the computer.
Click bait links are everywhere. It’s important to make sure you never click on anything that comes from a source you can’t verify. Don’t sign up for things that don’t appear legit, and never share passwords among multiple accounts.
A deeper con is one that’s a bit more difficult to detect. Some scammers actually go to the trouble of building and starting “lookalike” websites that mimic the look of the actual ALS Association. They have information that looks real, they use the same (or similar) logos, and they even have a nice little donation page waiting for some unsuspecting individual to come along.
Always verify a nonprofit’s official site. Never click on a link that purports to take you there. Search Google or type in the URL of the site you know to be legitimate.
Some people will do anything to make money, even if it means taking money from from a charity. Be careful what you click on and where you donate.