Scammers hope you'll bite on 'zombie' news

The past few weeks have given us a rash of unbelievably gruesome news stories. There's the 21-year-old college student who allegedly killed, dismembered and ate his victim's brain and heart; the Swedish man arrested for reportedly eating his wife's lips; and the "zombie" that started it all, Rudy Eugene, who was shot and killed by Miami police while in the process of eating another man's face.

Each story is horrific, disgusting and compelling in its own way — in other words, perfect fodder for online scammers.

Right now, there is surveillance footage of Eugene's May 26 attack, but the 18-minute video, embedded in articles from local Miami news sources including the Miami Herald, is partially obscured by a bridge. There is no other video, no "exclusive" footage or "never-before-seen" angle. This is important to remember, as online scammers, in a plea to get you to click on possibly harmful links, often promise to show you the "real" videos or photos you haven’t seen.

Scammers used these tactics after the Japan earthquake and tsunami last year and after the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. SecurityNewsDaily hasn't yet seen any rigged emails or Facebook posts about these horrific "zombie" incidents, but they will almost certainly pop up in the next few days. They could come from anywhere, but with some common sense, you can keep your computer out of trouble.

The advice is simple: Use your brain. If you need to satisfy your curiosity and thirst for gore, read stories about these crimes from legitimate news sources. No matter how enticing or convenient, don't simply click on a link you see on Facebook or Twitter or in an unsolicited email.

Scammers know how captivating these horrifying stories are, and they're sure to cast their bait far and wide in the hopes of getting you to bite. As a matter of course, make sure you are running up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer to protect you in the event you fall for one of the scammers' tricks.

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