Facebook post featuring a teaser image of a man taking a photograph at the edge of Africa’s Devil’s Pool urges users to click to watch video footage of the man’s accidental fall.
The message is a scam designed to trick people into creating accounts on a suspect video streaming website. The photograph of the man is genuine, but he did not fall as claimed and there is no video. Those who click the link will first be asked to like and share the ‘video’ via Facebook before being taken to the video-streaming site to sign up.
A post circulating via Facebook features an image of a man standing close to the edge of the Devil’s Pool at Africa’s Victoria Falls. The post claims that after taking an ‘epic selfie’ photograph, the man slipped over the edge and fell – presumably – to his death. The post invites users to click the image to view a video of the accident.
The message is just another in an endless series of Facebook video scams designed to promote particular websites or Facebook Pages. Thankfully, there are no reports suggesting that the pictured man slipped and fell and the promised video does not exist.
It is a little disturbing that people would even want to watch video footage of a man plunging to his death. Nevertheless, many people apparently do. Those who click the link will first be taken to a fake Facebook Page that supposedly hosts the video. But, when they hit the ‘Play’ button, they will be told that they must first share the message via Facebook. This is a very effective mechanism for promoting the scam message across the network.
Next, users will be taken to a second bogus webpage that again supposedly hosts the video. But, when they click the ‘play’ or ‘download’ buttons, they will be redirected to one of several very dubious websites that offer video streaming to subscribers. Once on the site, they will be told that they must create an account to view the video. But, of course, even after creating an account, users will still not get to see the video, which never existed to begin with. Thus, the message is just an unethical means of getting people to sign up for the website’s suspect services.
The picture itself is genuine, as is the Devil’s Pool. The Victoria Falls are on Africa’s Zambezi River and border the nations of Zambia and Zimbabwe. A collection of photographs depicting people swimming in the Devil’s Pool has circulated via email and social media for several years. The pool is located right at the top of the falls. Swimming in the pool is a popular activity for more adventurous visitors to the area. The pool is only used when water levels are comparatively low. A natural rock ledge stops swimmers from being swept over the edge.
The photograph used in the scam has appeared in various blog posts about the falls.
If this scam message comes your way, do not click the link that it contains.
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!