Circulating “breaking news” posts claim that Donald Trump has suffered from a cardiac arrest and died while addressing the public. The posts include an image apparently depicting Trump collapsed on the stage floor after the heart attack.
The claims are false. Donald Trump has not had a heart attack and he has not died. Clicking on the fake posts opens a scam website that automatically redirects visitors to other websites containing browser hijacking tech support scams, survey scams, malware, or rogue apps. If you see one of these fake-news posts, do not click on it.
According to a “breaking news” post that is circulating rapidly via social media, US Presidential candidate Donald Trump has suffered a cardiac arrest and died while addressing the public. The post features an image of Trump apparently collapsed on a stage floor.
However, the claims in the post are untrue. Donald Trump has not had a heart attack and he has not died. The post is just a callous attempt to draw Internet users to a scam website that disguises itself as a news outlet.
The image of Trump slumped on the floor appears to be a shot from a 2007 Battle of the Billionaires, hair vs. hair “wrestling match” in which Trump briefly ended up on the floor of the ring. One of the wrestling ring ropes is clearly visible in the image.
If you click the link in the scam post, you will be taken to a “news” website that supposedly contains more information and video footage about Trump’s supposed cardiac arrest and subsequent demise. However, the website will automatically redirect you to one of several scam or malware websites.
In some cases, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that claims that your computer has a virus and you must urgently call a number displayed on the screen to get help with the supposed infection. The webpage will lock your browser and display a series of “tech support” popups. In fact, there is no virus. This is just a nasty trick to get you to call a bogus tech support hotline staffed by scammers. If you call, the scammers will demand that you provide your credit card details to pay for their “assistance”. They may also trick you into installing malware that can steal information from your computer.
In other cases, you will be redirected to a page that claims that you must update a browser plugin before you can view a “news video”. However, the “plugin” will actually be malware that can take over your browser, redirect you to further scam websites, and show malicious advertisements.
Or, you might end up on a survey scam website that tries to trick you into supplying your personal information, ostensibly to go in the draw for various prizes or offers. But, if you participate, your information will be shared with unscrupulous third-party marketers who will then inundate you with unwanted and annoying phone calls, text messages, emails, and surface letters.
Or, the site might redirect you to a rogue Facebook app that, if installed, will spam all of your Facebook friends with further scam messages.
Note that there are several versions of the scam messages that may falsely claim to be from different well-known news outlets.
This is just one in a series of celebrity death scam posts that have circulated in recent months. If one of these scam death reports comes your way, do not click on it.
It is wise to verify any social media reports claiming that a high profile person has died. If a famous person does die, the news will be extensively covered by mainstream news outlets all around the world. So, a quick search on a news portal such as Google News will usually reveal if a circulating death report is true.
Last updated: October 6, 2016
First published: October 6, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
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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!