Hackers using Malaysian Airlines flight to steal personal information
March 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM CDT - Updated July 21 at 11:46 AM
Computer hackers are taking advantage of a tragic situation to lure people to websites that steal personal information.
Local law enforcement says they have been seeing these scams in our area.
Scammers are using fake headlines on social media sites about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane to trick users into clicking on their site.
Fake news stories and videos about the vanished Boeing 777 are appearing on Facebook and Twitter, with headlines claiming the plane was found and passengers are alive.
Andrew Brandt with All Star Computer says they know exactly how to write fake headlines to catch a person's eye.
"The guys who write viruses are going to take advantage of this stuff. And they know that people are going to click on these links. And they know they are going to get a huge turnout from this. So they take advantage of these situations to infect your computers".
The Amarillo Police Department says they have been receiving more phone calls about these types of scams recently.
They say once scammers have your personal information, there is not much that can be done.
"The sheer volume of these types of scams makes it difficult. Even if we find exactly where this scam came from down to the address, that does not prove exactly who is behind the computer that started this scam"
Brandt says it is important to make sure it is a legitimate website before clicking on it.
"People who write these viruses, they know how to pull on your heart strings, they know how to take advantage of a situation like this, and so it is very important to remain mindful when looking for information like this, to know where your source of information is coming from."
Brandt also says it is important to make sure you have a good and up to date antivirus program on your computer for protection from scammers.