'Justin Bieber Killed a 7-Year-Old Boy' Rogue App Facebook Scam
OutlineMessage being distributed on Facebook claims that pop star Justin Bieber accidentally killed a seven-year-old child while driving under the influence.
© Depositphotos.com/ karen
Brief AnalysisJustin Bieber did not kill a child as claimed. Bieber was arrested for DUI in January, 2014, but he was not involved in an accident. The message is a scam designed to trick people into allowing a rogue app to send out spam messages on their behalf. The message is apparently an underhand attempt to promote a "trending video" website. Some variants of the scam message claim that Bieber has again been arrested on drug charges or for DUI but omit the claims about the seven year old being killed. If this message comes your way, do not click any links that it contains.
Scroll down to read a detailed analysis with references.
According to a message that is currently appearing on Facebook, pop star Justin Bieber accidentally killed a seven-year-old boy while driving under the influence. The message claims that the boy was walking to school with his sister when the accident occurred.
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Although Bieber was arrested for driving under the influence in January 2014, he was not involved in a car accident and he did not kill a seven-year-old child as claimed.
The message is a scam designed to trick users into installing a rogue app that will spam out more of the same scam messages via Facebook. Those who click the link in the spam message will be taken to a page with the following request: World Trending v.1.31 will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list and email address.
If users click the "Ok" button, they will be taken to a website that supposedly hosts a video about the car accident in which the child was killed. There is actually a video, but it is a news clip discussing Bieber's arrest for DUI and it makes no reference whatsoever to the accident described in the scam message.
In fact, the site hosts a large collection of what it refers to as "trending videos". Clicking on any of the videos brings up the same rogue app window. Thus, the scam is nothing more than an unethical attempt to promote the website hosting the videos. By forcing viewers to install the rogue spamming app before they can see their chosen video, the site can heavily promote itself via Facebook and gain more visitors.
There are several Bieber related scam messages currently being distributed, all of which lead to the same rogue app and the same dodgy video website. Some versions simply claim that Justin Bieber has again been charged with DUI. Others claim that he has been arrested on drug charges.
If one of these scam messages comes your way, do not click any links that it contains. If you have already installed the rogue app, you will need to uninstall it. You can remove the app by going to your Facebook account settings, finding the "App" section and clicking the "X" beside the app's name.
Last updated: February 9, 2014
First published: February 9, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen