Alton Towers Crash Facebook Scam
Home Facebook Related Facebook Scammers Hijack News of Alton Towers Roller Coaster Accident

Facebook Scammers Hijack News of Alton Towers Roller Coaster Accident

by Brett M. Christensen

In early June 2015, a roller coaster accident at UK theme park Alton Towers left four people seriously injured. The incident was widely reported by the mainstream media.

And, typically, criminals viewed the accident as an opportunity to create yet another ‘shocking video’ Facebook scam.

A scam post promising video footage of the accident soon began appearing on Facebook. The post warns that you ‘will never sit on a roller coaster ever after watching this accident video’. It features a teaser image of the roller coaster that includes a video ‘play’ button.
If you click the image in the hope of seeing the footage, you will be taken to a webpage that has been designed to look like a YouTube video page (see screenshot at bottom of this article). The fake page appears to host the promised video and even includes fake comments to make it seem more legitimate.

However, when you attempt to play the video, a popup notice will claim that you must first share the video before you can view it. Via this mechanism, the scammers ensure that their bogus material is widely distributed across the network.

But, alas, even after you share as requested, you will still not get to see the video. Instead, you will be taken to another webpage that claims that you must download and install a video player update before the footage can be viewed.

The supposed update will download various types of malware and adware that may hijack your browser, show malicious advertisements, and collect personal information from your computer.

And, you will still not get to see the promised video.

The teaser image used in the scam post has been stolen from other sources.

Shocking video scams like this one are very common on Facebook. Roller Coaster accidents have been used in previous versions of the scam as well.

Be wary of any post on Facebook that promises shocking, salacious, or breaking news footage. If you click a link in such a post and it claims that you must share a page or download ‘plugins’ or ‘updates’ before you can see a video, exit the page immediately.

Example

Alton Towers Facebook Scam Post

Latest Video: Roller Coaster Cars Collide in Alton Towers

You will never sit on a roller coaster ever after watching this accident video.



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