I am constantly surprised that smart people fall for Click-Bait and Fake News these days.
Even more, I’m surprised at the websites that allow this on their pages.
Today I was visiting the newly redesigned website for one of my former hometown newspapers, the News-Sentinel which recently stopped printing their afternoon paper after 100+ years.
Take a look at the ad on the right side of this page.
The beloved Doctor Oz is dead, according to the copy, right?
Nah, it’s both Fake News and Click-Bait.
It’s pretty easy for the trained eye to see that this is an advertisement link and for some reason the people behind this ad decided to use the incorrect age of Dr. Oz. He is only 57 and won’t turn 58 for another 7 months. But most people don’t know that including me until I Googled him.
So what happens if you “click” on this “bait” of “fake news”?
Here’s where the link goes:
The domain FoodJarVase.com, which has a link similar to what I clicked on: https://foodjarvase.com/instructions-for-creating-a-hat/
But look at what appears when you click on the Click Bait Fake News:
Looks like the good doctor is alive and well, and the website belongs to US magazine right? But once you get over the shock that the Doc is not dead, and maybe someone you know has E.D. …
Hang on. Because this is not really the US magazine website. It’s FoodJarVase.com correct?
So who is FoodJarVase.com?
I decided to explore by going to the FoodJarVase.com website and it looks legit. But when I went to their contact page, it smells fishy.
There are two addresses listed, one is complete with a street address in Michigan. I copied and pasted that address into Google and it shows a small house in the streetview of Google Maps. The other address on that page is just a city in Virginia. And the phone numbers were incomplete too.
Next trick was to find out who the FoodJarVase.com domain belongs to. Turns out it is registered to someone in Panama City, Panama.
All kinds of red warning signs should be exploding in your brain right now. Who knows what would happen if you or someone gives their personal info over to this mysterious scam artist.
Please, be smart. Don’t blindly click and give your personal info to websites that are Click Bait and Fake News. And perhaps someone at the http://www.news-sentinel.com/ can clean up the types of ads they allow on their site too.