THE Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) advised the public to be more cautious about the links they visit online, especially during the holiday season.
According to the PNP-ACG, online fraudsters are using “clickbaits” to lure victims to suspicious websites in order to defraud them.
Clickbaits are text or thumbnail links devised to entice netizens to follow or to click on them to bring them to sites that require payment or registration, or to a set of pages to increase website views.
Online scammers also use clickbait links to access individuals’ personal information by asking them to fill out registration forms or by sending them malicious software like ransomware, viruses, and Trojans.
The PNP-ACG reported that it has been receiving an increase in complaints regarding this type of online scam in an attempt to steal people’s hard earned money and Christmas bonuses.
“Dahil Christmas, may bonus and capacity to spend or purchase, it is higher than normal that they attack during these times,” said PNP-ACG spokesperson Lt. Michelle Sabino.
Sabino said the public should be extra careful in their online transactions as scammers are working double time to victimize people with the clickbait scam.
“Yes, [we have been receiving a lot of complaints lately], ang mga kawatan lahat pwedeng gawin paraan para makapanloko and generally lahat ginagawa na ang swindling, estafa, panloloko. Online buying or online selling, even investment scams,” she added.
The PNP ACG shared these tips on how to avoid clickbait scams.
- Avoid unsafe or suspicious website that ask to click on links, complete a survey or download extra plug-ins to access the content of what you are looking for;
- Check the web address if it a trusted company and domain name; and
- Do not share information.