Beware of emails referencing Osama bin Laden's death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Beware of emails referencing Osama bin Laden's death

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MADISON, Wis. (KWWL) -

Officials in Wisconsin are warning people to watch out for unsolicited emails that supposedly include photos or video involving the terrorist's death.

"News of Osama bin Laden's death is stirring up emotions for many Americans, especially those directly impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks," Administrator of the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection Sandy Chalmers said in a written statement. "For some people, an unexpected email offering the opportunity to view images of Bin Laden's death will be intriguing."

They say the "spam" emails can include a virus programmed to steal personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, credit card and bank numbers, and usernames and passwords stored on your computer.

"We strongly advise people never to open spam email, or click on links contained within those messages," added Chalmers. "Scam artists can manipulate email addresses to make them appear to be sent from a trusted source – this is called ‘spoofing.' They do this by hacking into your personal email account and gathering information from your contacts list. So, even when the sender is familiar, people need to use good judgment when opening email."

Here are some tips from The Bureau of Consumer Protection to avoid falling victim to spam email scams:

· Read email carefully; fraudulent messages often include misspellings, poor grammar, and nonstandard English.

· Do not agree to download software to view videos; these applications can infect your computer.

· Use virus protection software and set it to update daily.

· Do not send sensitive or private information via email.

· Install at least one spyware or adware detection and removal application, and make sure to update and run it periodically.

· Use a personal firewall to protect your computer from hacker attacks by preventing unauthorized Internet connections to your computer. 

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