Vin Diesel Fake Death Report Facebook ScamOutline
Circulating Facebook message claims that actor Vin Diesel has died and invites users to click a link to view a video with more information.
Vin Diesel is not dead. The message is a scam designed to trick Facebook users into participating in survey scams and downloading malware. If this message comes your way, do not click any links that it contains.
A message currently circulating via Facebook claims that popular actor Vin Diesel has died. The R.I.P. message invites users to watch a video about how the star died by clicking a link.
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Vin Diesel is alive and well. The message is just the latest in a series of celebrity death scam campaigns designed to trick users into participating in bogus online surveys and installing rogue apps, malicious browser plugins or other malware.
Those who fall for the ruse and click the link will be taken to a fake Facebook page that supposedly hosts the Vin Diesel video. However, when users click the 'play' button they will be told that the video will be restricted until they share a link to the video page via Facebook.
If they go ahead and share the message as required, and again press the 'play' button, a pop-up window will appear claiming that they must download a plugin before they can watch the video. The download is malicious and the claim that it is required to watch the video is a lie.
And, even after downloading the malicious 'plugin', users will still not get to see the video. Instead, they will be told that they must first participate in one or more online surveys, supposedly as a means of verifying their age. The surveys will try to get users to sign up for absurdly overpriced SMS subscriptions or provide their personal information in order to go in the draw for various prizes.
But, no matter how many surveys users fill in, they will never get to see the promised video, which never existed to begin with.
If this fake Vin Diesel death message appears on your news feed, do not click the link it contains. And let the friend who posted it know that the message is a scam.
Posting fake messages claiming that a celebrity has died is a common scammer tactic. Celebrity death hoaxes also regularly circulate via social media. If you receive a message claiming that a celebrity has died, do not click any link that it contains. News media will always extensively cover the death of a celebrity, so a simple search of a news aggregation service such as Google News will allow you to see if a death claim in a message is true or false.
Moreover, users should keep in mind that, when a celebrity really does die, scammers are quick to capitalize on news of the death by distributing fake news messages claiming to link to more information. Again, these fake messages may lead to malware sites, rogue apps and survey scams.
Last updated: February 11, 2014
First published: February 11, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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