Fake-news posts claiming that a brutal shooting has occurred in a specified location are currently appearing on Facebook.
The posts look like this:
The location of the supposed shootings varies in different versions of the post as do the images and description. The fake posts use crime scene images stolen from legitimate news sites and include descriptions of real crimes.
However, the posts do not open genuine news reports about the crimes described. Instead, if you click on a post you will be taken to a scam website that claims you must share on Facebook to unlock the content.
But, after you share the site on Facebook as requested, you will be automatically redirected to one of a number of scam websites. In some cases, you will be taken to porn sites. In other cases, you will be prompted to sign up for scammy “get rich quick” systems. Or, you might be taken to sites that promise that chance to win various prizes in exchange for completing bogus online surveys and submitting your personal information.
And, a fake security warning will pop up in your browser. The warning claims that you need to click a download link to install antivirus software to protect your system. The link opens a website that urges you to click a button to perform a virus scan. The scan, which is completely fake and does nothing at all, will then load a report that falsely claims that your computer is riddled with dangerous viruses. The page prompts you to enter your credit card details and other personal information to purchase software that can supposedly rid your computer of the virus infection.
In fact, the software is utterly useless and will do nothing. The software is itself a type of malware and will not remove any virus infections from your computer. And the criminals operating the scam website now have your credit card details and other personal information.
The pop-up will automatically detect your operating system and alter the wording to suit.
In some cases, you may be redirected to websites that harbour other types of malware.
If one of these posts comes your way, do not click on it. You can usually verify if the claims in a “news” post are factual by searching a news aggregator such as Google News.