Internet Hoax Targets Lynchburg Residents - WSET.com - ABC13

Internet Hoax Targets Lynchburg Residents

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Lynchburg, VA - Did you see the post on Facebook about Lynchburg city council banning pit bulls in the city? It's not true.

That's just one of a number of Internet hoaxes that have been floating around on social media. Most these fake posts can be found right on your Facebook news feed after being shared by one of your friends.

However, by clicking on the link you may be giving hackers access to your personal information

Lynchburg resident David Broussard says he was furious when he came across a post on his Facebook news feed about a possible pit bull ban in Lynchburg.

"It was a friend who shared one of his friends posts. So I was like wow that's kind of unique so it got my attention" explained Broussard.

Broussard is the owner of a pit bull mix and was concerned that Lynchburg City Council was considering such an ordinance. After some digging he found out there was no truth that post

"You rarely see something so local to Lynchburg. That's what took me by surprise" said Broussard.

Most Internet hoaxes touch on national issues. "The trick of a really good hoax is that the hoax contains either something that people want to happen or something that people are afraid is going to happen" said Lynchburg College professor Dr. Michael Robinson.

Like a recent Facebook post that claims the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight has been found, or another post that falsely claims Singer Adam Levine died of an overdose.

Users who clicked on the link to the video of the missing flight were prompted to share the post, and then were redirected to a promotional website.

Some of these fake posts are created by satirical news sites for entertainment purposes while others contain links to information-stealing viruses. "Usually doing a couple quick Google searches will help you figure out" said Robinson.

Scammers will try and make these posts look as authentic as possible. Professor Robinson says a good rule of thumb is before you share a post check to see if any other major news outlets are reporting the same thing.

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