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“Donald Trump Arrested Virus” Fake-News Post

by Brett M. Christensen

[Image © doddis/Depositphotos.com]

Outline:
Message circulating via WhatsApp and social media websites warns users not to read a news item showing “two police officers arresting Donald Trump on your computer screen” because it is a virus that will infect your computer.


Brief Analysis:
No, Donald Trump has not been arrested.  I have not yet seen an instance of the threat described in the warning.  However, given Trump’s high profile both in the US and elsewhere, criminals may indeed use such tactics to trick people into clicking malware links. Users need to exercise caution when clicking on “breaking news” posts.  In recent months, there have been a number of bogus fake-news posts about the supposed deaths of various famous people, including Donald Trump. Links in these posts open malicious websites.

Example:

Breaking News. “Donald Trump arrested” Please if you see two police officers arresting Donald Trump on your computer screen, Do not click to read the news. It is a Virus . Someone has done that and it has infected their computer. Please send to all in your contact list .



Detailed Analysis:
According to this message, which has been circulating since October 2016, you should watch out for a news post that shows two police officers arresting Donald Trump on your computer screen. The message warns that clicking to read the story can infect your computer with a virus. It asks you to send the information to all of your contacts.

For the record, no, Donald Trump has not been arrested. I have not yet seen any definitive reports about a virus threat like the one described in the circulating message.  The wording of the message is reminiscent of several virus hoax messages that have circulated in recent months.

However,  criminals are indeed using fake posts about Trump to trick people into visiting scam sites and downloading malware. Users certainly do need to be cautious regarding some circulating “news” posts about both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In recent months, a series of fake news posts announcing the supposed death of several famous people – including Donald Trump –  have been distributed via social media. Links in these bogus posts open malicious websites that may contain tech support scams, malware, or survey scams.

Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer