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Home Death Scams and Hoaxes ‘R.I.P. Miley Cyrus’ Facebook Scam

‘R.I.P. Miley Cyrus’ Facebook Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Circulating Facebook post claims that singer Miley Cyrus has died. The post features a teaser image of the star on a bed with a bottle of pills beside her. Clicking the image supposedly opens a video with more information about the star’s demise.

Brief Analysis

Miley Cyrus is not dead. The post is a scam designed to trick you into promoting the message on Facebook and divulging your personal information via dodgy survey scam pages. The image in the post is taken from a music video.

Example

RIP Miley Cyrus Facebook Scam Post

 

Detailed Analysis

‘R.I.P Miley Cyrus’ Post Circulating on Facebook

According to a post being distributed on Facebook, popular entertainer Miley Cyrus has died. The post, which features an image of the star on a bed with an open bottle of pills beside her claims that Cyrus was ‘found 48 minutes ago’.

The image includes a ‘Play’ button that ostensibly opens a video with more information about the star’s supposed death.

Miley Cyrus is NOT Dead – Post is a Survey Scam

However, the claims in the post are false. Miley Cyrus is alive and well. The post is a scam designed to trick you into spamming your Facebook friends with the same bogus material and providing your personal information on suspect survey websites.

If you click the ‘Play’ button, you will be taken to a fake Facebook web page that appears to host the promised video. However, when you attempt to play the video, a message will claim that you must first share it on Facebook.

After you share as instructed, a new – and equally fake – page will load that claims that you have successfully unlocked the video (See screenshot below). But, alas, an overlay on the page claims that you must ‘verify your identity’ by completing one or more online surveys before you will be allowed to view the footage. The message presents a list of survey links for you to choose from.
Clicking any of the links takes you to dodgy third-party websites that promise the chance to win prizes in exchange for filling in surveys and providing your information.

Many of the surveys ask you to enter your mobile phone number, an act that subscribes you to a very expensive text messaging ‘service’ that charges you several dollars for every SMS they send.

Others may ask for your name and contact details as part of a prize entry process. But, fine print on the page will state that your information will be shared with third-party marketers. Thus, you may soon find yourself inundated with unwelcome marketing calls, emails, and letters.

Meanwhile, the people who run these scam campaigns will earn a commission every time a person provides their personal details on one of the survey sites.

And, of course, no matter how many surveys you complete, you will never get to see the video.

In fact, Miley Cyrus has ‘died’ in similar circumstances on several other occasions.

Image in Post From Music Video

The teaser image used in the scam message is taken from a music video featuring Cyrus along with The Flaming Lips and Moby.

Verify Celebrity Death Claims Before Clicking or Sharing

Fake celebrity death notices are a favourite scammer ruse. Many, like this one, attempt to trick users into participating in survey scams. Other versions may entice users to visit websites that harbour malware.

It is wise to verify any celebrity death messages that come your way via social media before you click any links or share the posts. The mainstream media always extensively covers celebrity deaths, so a search on a news portal such as Google News should quickly reveal if a death story is true.

RIP Miley Cyrus Facebook Scam Website



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