AUSTIN (KXAN) - A new scam making its rotations online means even a click can end up costing you.
It's being called "clickjacking," the latest trick that hides a scam on a website that looks safe. It's a scheme that makes people think they are clicking a harmless link when they are really activating a scam -- one even savvy surfers can fall for.
How does it work?
It starts like most online phishing scams. You receive an email, social media message or text that directs you to a website. Scammers may claim to be from a major store chain, and say they are giving away a gift. They instruct you to go to a website and enter to win.
When you arrive at the site, everything looks normal. But scammers have hidden links and other content on the page. In addition to the content you can see, scammers have added an invisible layer.
You complete a form to "register," thinking your click will enter you for a "free gift" or other special offer, but you are really activating a code. This code can do anything from placing an order with an online retailer to changing the settings on your computer.
This technique is also used to trick you into "liking" something on social media that you normally wouldn't. This is called "likejacking."
For example, you might receive an attention-getting message that you're in a video. Just by clicking to see it, you might actually activate a code which "likes" the webpage and publicizes the link on your newsfeed.
What to do?
Better Business Bureau has tips to avoid a "clickjacking" or "likejacking" scam:
- Click with caution. Stay away from teasers for sensational videos and messages that require you to "click here" in order to see the full video or message.
- Update your computer. The newest versions of browsers have security updates that warn you of suspicious websites. Also, make sure you have antivirus software installed on your computer, and that it is up-to-date.
- Log out of websites. Many "clickjacking" scams take advantage of web users' habit of staying logged into social media sites or popular online retailers. Make sure to always log out of any webpage you're not using, and avoid selecting the tab "remember me" when signing in to a site. By staying logged on to multiple sites, it makes it that much easier for scammers to "like" or even purchase something in your name.
- Don't fall for fake sites. It's easy to steal the colors, logos and headers of an established organization. Make sure to do your research to make sure that website is legitimate and not an imitation. Just because a site looks real, does not mean it is.
If you become a victim of Internet fraud, USA.gov has a list of official government Web resources to help direct you about the next steps to take.
In-Depth: Who discovered "clickjacking?"
Clickjacking is a hacking method discovered by an Austin Internet security researcher.
"It doesn't matter if you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or any other Web browser," said Internet security researcher and SecTheory CEO Robert Hansen. "They are all vulnerable."
An armed robbery in South Austin set off a search for two men with guns early Friday morning.
Two school buses and a car crashed on eastbound Parmer Lane near Ranch Road 620 on Friday morning but there were no reports of injuries.
A local road project more than two decades in the making won't save drivers as much time as many had hoped.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
Patchy light rain is forecast in Central Texas Friday as an upper level disturbance moves across the state. Rainfall totals are expected to be very light, and showers will end by Friday night. Sunshine, but breezy and cool conditions are …