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.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!