CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – The latest Facebook 'phishing' scam making the rounds this week involves McDonald's, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The scam is being spread via status updates on Facebook which indicate that McDonald's is closing and it posts a link with more information.
The Facebook message reads: "OMG!! McDonald's might soon shut down because of this! Warning: Your jaw will drop to the floor!"
The message then urges Facebook users to "Simply Follow the two easy steps below to see why McDonald's might soon shut down!
The first step involves clicking on the link that says 'Like This Page!' and then click on the 'Like' button to continue."
By clicking on the link, you are asked to take a survey which asks for personal information that should never be given out on the Internet.
When you click on the link, your computer could also be infected with spyware, malware or viruses designed to steal any personal information or passwords stored on your computer, according to the BBB.
"Phishing scams are effective because they have a sensational hook disguised as a link that promises insider information," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. "The reason scammers are targeting Facebook is simple; the website has 500 million users. It is literally one of the biggest ponds on the Internet in which to phish."
Here are some tips from the BBB to protect your identity online:
• Parents should teach their children about online scams and identity theft given that millions of Facebook users are young people. While young people are very computer savvy, they may not be as scam savvy as adults are.
• Do not click on suspicious links online disguised as sensational information, even if the link comes from one of your Facebook friends.
• Do not give out personal information online unless you know with 100 percent certainty that the recipient is a secure, encrypted site and you know for what purpose the information will be used. Web addresses for secure sites begin with "https", not simply "http". Secure sites also have a padlock symbol in the lower right corner of the screen.
Go to www.bbb.org for more information about staying safe online.