Emsisoft Security Ticker
Salzburg, February 17th, 2012
Attention: Scammers profit from Whitney Houston's death on Facebook!
The untimely death of wonderful singer Whitney Houston has shocked the world. So much the worse that scammers now are trying to profit from the pop singer's death. They distribute Facebook messages on a video that allegedly claims to reveal details around the circumstances of her untimely death. Users who click the link will make the scammer's cash register ring.
Since Whitney Houston passed away, the world has been waiting to know more details about the circumstances of her untimely death. According to that new scam on Facebook, there is news on what caused her death. Messages such as "Whitney Houston's shocking cause of death revealed" are supposed to make innocent users of this social network click ans share these messages.
If the users follow one of the links that pretend to lead them to a well-known American news site, they will in fact be redirected several times and end up facing a survey page that they are asked to take. This is the first of two methods that the scammers use to transform you the user into a mode of profit. Every person taking the survey means more cash for the scammer.
And finally, you will see the YouTube video itself. It shows of course no exclusive coverage, but normal TV footage on Whitney Houston's death. Every hit raises its ranking, thus subsequently attracting more viewers and more profit. Well-placed Google AdSense ads will also help.
It is a pity that scammers sometimes use celebrities' mishaps to profit from public interest. Please bear in mind the following hints on how to avoid scam:
- Never click blindly any links, especially not on Facebook, but rethink the content
- Only share content if you are sure about its veracity. This will keep scammers from
spreading their lies.
- Report suspicious content to the operators of the platform. Facebook has a dedicated
function for this purpose ("Report/Mark as Spam").
- For any doubtful messages, please rather refer to trustworthy media. Even before
spread on Facebook, TV channels and big news portals usually cover recent big events.
- The fact of being redirected several times and being asked to take a survey should raise suspicions, though. No serious site uses such practices.
For absolutely trustworthy news on online security, we recommend you to become a fan of our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/emsisoft
Please help us and advise your family and friends on this scam and recommend this piece of news to them.
Have a nice (malware-free) day!
Christian Mairoll - Emsisoft CEO