Officials Warn of Social Media Scams in Wake of Prince's Death

Officials are warning Prince fans to be careful when they click on social media posts about the pop star’s untimely death. 

The Better Business Bureau Illinois said scammers may be using the news as a way to infect computers, prompting users to lose their data and passwords. 

“If previous celebrity deaths and tragedies are any indication, the public’s fascination and desire to get more information about a person is a means for the bad guys to capture personal information because the public’s guard is down,” Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said in a statement. 

The 57-year-old music superstar died Thursday at Paisley Park. An autopsy was done Friday, but authorities have not released a cause of death and said results could take days or weeks.

Bernas urged consumers to take extra precautions to protect themselves from scams shared via social media and email.

• Don't take the bait. Stay away from promotions of "exclusive," "shocking" or "sensational" footage. If it sounds too outlandish to be true, it is probably a scam.

• Hover over a link to see its true destination. Before you click, mouse over the link to see where it will take you. Don't click on links leading to unfamiliar websites.

• Don't trust your "friends" online. It might not actually be your friends who are "liking" or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked and scammers could be using another tactic called "clickjacking". Clickjacking is a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking on social media links that you would not usually click on.

• Report scam posts on Facebook by following instructions on this link.

• Report malware or spam on Twitter by following these instructions.

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