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Issue 166 - November, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 22

Oprah Winfrey is NOT Dead - Links in Message Lead to Rogue App

Issue 166 Start Menu

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Message appearing on Facebook claims that media queen Oprah Winfrey has been found dead at her house after committing suicide at her home. The message invites users to click a link to watch an exclusive video message that the star made before her death.

Oprah Winfrey

Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are untrue. Oprah Winfrey is not dead. The link in the message points to a rogue app that, once installed, will send the same spam messages to all of the user's friends. Users will also be that they must download a suspect "plugin" and participate in various online surveys before gaining access to the supposed video. Do not click on any links in this message.

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Detailed Analysis
According to a message being distributed via Facebook, famous media personality Oprah Winfrey has been found dead at her residence after "committing suicide on her living room". The message, which is disguised as a news article link from Fox News, claims that users can see a video featuring a last message from Oprah along with the suicide itself.  
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Oprah is alive and well. The message is a scam designed to trick users into installing a rogue app, downloading suspect software and participating in survey scams. Those who fall for the ruse and click the link will be asked to give permission for an application to access their information and post on their behalf:

Next, they will be told that they must download and install a "plugin" before seeing the promised video footage:

And, another link will take them to third party websites that try to entice them into participating in surveys and providing personal information.

Meanwhile, the rogue app will send out the same scam messages to all of the victim's Facebook friends.No matter how many surveys the victim completes, he or she will never get to see the promised video which never existed to begin with.

This celebrity death scam ruse is becoming increasingly common on Facebook.  Celine Dion, Will Smith, Jackie Chan and Miley Cyrus are just a few celebrities that have been used in similar scams in recent months. It is important to verify any celebrity death messages you receive via a legitimate news source before sharing them or following any links that they may contain. If a high profile celebrity such as Oprah Winfrey really did commit suicide, the mainstream media all around the world would extensively cover reports of the death. 

If you receive this or another unverified celebrity death message, do not click on any links that it contains.

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Last updated: November 6, 2013
First published: November 6, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
Research by Joshua Brunson, Brett Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Celine Dion Death Hoax Points To Rogue App
Will Smith Facebook Death Post Leads to Rogue App
Jackie Chan is NOT Dead
Miley Cyrus is NOT Dead - Miley Cyrus Suicide Facebook Scam
Celebrity Hoaxes

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Issue 166 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Philippines Typhoon Disaster Scams
  2. Wedding Invitation Malware Emails
  3. 'Suspicious Guy Claiming He is You' Spam Emails
  4. Hunting Family Posing With Dead Elephant Picture
  5. 'Missing Persons in Australia' Facebook Like-Farming Scam
  6. Baby Iko Facebook Sick Child Hoax
  7. 'Young Romanian Woman' Car Crash Scam Warning
  8. No, Scientists in Texas are NOT Going to Use Sex Offenders for Medical Research
  9. Facebook Hate Campaign Against Keely Currie
  10. Chinese Teleportation Road Rescue Video
  11. PlayStation 4 Like and Share Giveaway Facebook Scam
  12. Circulating Video of Girl Throwing Puppies Causing Outrage
  13. 'Bizarre Unknown' Fish Caught in Malaysia Not So Mysterious
  14. No, The Bitstrips App is NOT an NSA Trojan
  15. 'Removing An Old Setting' Facebook Notification Message
  16. Did a Man in China Sue His Wife For Being Ugly?
  17. '200 Pieces of iPhone' Facebook Giveaway Scam
  18. Gmail '4 Missed Emails' Pharmacy Spam
  19. 'Freedom Award Lottery Promotion Agency' Facebook Page Scam
  20. Spider in Oreo Cookie Photograph
  21. 'Giant Fukushima Mutant Dog' Picture
  22. Oprah Winfrey is NOT Dead - Links in Message Lead to Rogue App
  23. ANZ Phishing Scam - 'We Detected a Login Attempt With a Valid Password'
  24. 'Microsoft Facebook Yahoo Windows Live Award' Advance Fee Scam
  25. Chemical Burns From Gel In Diaper Warning Message
  26. Charles F. Feeney 'Grant Donation' Advance Fee Scam
  27. False and Damaging Rumour - 'RSPCA Paid to Keep Quiet About Halal Slaughtering'
  28. 'Apple ID Information Updated' Phishing Scam
  29. ASDA Attempted Kidnapping Hoax
  30. Bogus Message Proclaims ' Christmas is banned: IT Offends Muslims'
  31. False Rumour - Patron at Cosmo Romford Finds Dog Microchip Wedged in Tooth
  32. Hoax - Picture of 'World's Largest Tortoise'
  33. Fogg Hill Wolf Kill Warning Poster
  34. NO, Obama is NOT Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods
  35. Marks & Spencer Poppy Sales Three Percent False Rumour
  36. Westpac 'Login Attempt From Unrecognized Device' Phishing Scam
  37. 'Really Bad Virus' Warning
  38. Facebook Surcharge Hoax - £1 Per Month From January 2015
  39. BMW M5 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  40. 'Baby Andrei Needs Help' Facebook Page Donations Scam
  41. Beware of Fake Obamacare Websites
  42. 'Temporarily Blocked From Liking Pages' Facebook Message
  43. 'Pieces of iPad' Giveaway Facebook Scam
  44. Hoax - Hacking Group Anonymous Targeting Facebook Users With Giraffe Profile Pics
  45. Bogus Warning - Canned Fruit From Thailand Contaminated With HIV
  46. Giraffe Profile Picture Virus Hoax