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Japan's quake

Scams and hoaxes make the rounds in Japan

Molly Wood Mar 16, 2011
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It’s not like scammers and spammers had a strong moral center to begin with, but they’re not letting something as horrible as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami pass without trying to make a few ill-gotten dollars off it. We talk to Graham Cluley of the security firm Sophos about some of the scams being perpetrated out there now.

Obviously, the video coming out of Japan is astounding and many of us are eager to watch this footage of houses being uprooted and massive ships capsizing. But Graham tells us one Facebook scam involves an alleged video of a whale being tossed from the ocean and hitting a building. When you click it, you’re taken to a fake YouTube site that has a hidden “Like” button. Once you click that, you’re the one spreading the scam. The fake sites people are funneled to often lead to surveys, which are also shady, and which can lead to your personal information being bought and sold.

Graham says there are also plenty of fraudulent fundraisers out there right now. They say they represent the Red Cross although they ask for the money to be sent somewhere else. Graham says if you want to donate, go to a site you know and trust. For instance, redcross.org.

Also in this program, your car may be vulnerable to hackers. Researchers have found a way to embed malware on a song on a CD. Once it’s in your player, it can take over your car.

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