Better Business Bureau warns against scam targeting Internet browsers

Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with Jeremy Johnson, Marketplace Manager for the Better Business Bureau for the Northwest and Pacific regions

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A new scam is hitting the region and Better Business Bureau officials say it’s targeting how people use the Internet.

Jeremy Johnson, Marketplace Manager for the Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific Region, told KID NewsRadio the new tactic called “tabnabbing” is particularly aggressive because of it’s almost imperceptible nature.

“When you’re are surfing the web or you’re working and you have multiple tabs open…scammers can hack into your computer and they’ll take one of the tabs that you’re not using at the current time and they will change the look of it to their page,” Jeremy Johnson said. “So, you may hop back over and it looks likeyou’ve been logged out and you’ll log back in and what you’ve just done is given scammers your email and your login information to your email account.”

Johnson said some of the greatest risk comes in apathy and a lack of concern about giving up information to something as simple as email. It’s easy to change passwords, Johnson said, but those who aren’t aware of the security breech aren’t just accidentally giving access to their email accounts or other accounts, but potentially far more sensitive information.

“Once you get into your email, so many things are in there,” Johnson said. “Whether it’s your bank account statement or a variety of things…it really can be damaging…unfortunately with so many of these scams, once people hack into your information or your data, they can really do a lot of damage and it’s really hard to get those funds back or to get your information back.”

Combating the scam takes an attention to detail and an active awareness of each open tab. Scammers will reload the page to connect the user with an almost identical looking sight, but Johnson said there are ways of telling whether users are at risk.

“A lot of times just subtle changes,” Johnson said. “You may see a grammatical error, look at the address. All the sudden the IP address may look a little different, just some things like that that just don’t look quite right…if you find a site that says HTTPS, that means that site is secure.”

Johnson also acknowledged not every site without an HTTPS address is a scam, but it does mean there is a greater cybersecurity risk. Still, Johnson said an acute awareness and vigilance while surfing the Internet is an effective tactic against the latest attack on personal information.

“Not leaving your bank account tab open or your email tab open,” Johnson said. “Just take a couple of seconds, if you are bouncing around and just take a quick look and make sure everything looks the same [as] it did before and if you have been logged out when you feel like you should still be logged in, definitely take a second and look at what is your going on or what that page looks like.”