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Latest Information - Internet Scams - Email Hoaxes - True Stories


Garbled and Misleading 'MAS Overboard Movie' Virus Warning

Alert circulating via text message and social media posts warns users not to open a 'MAS overboard movie' about the lost Malaysian Airlines flight because it contains a virus that will delete phone contacts. The message also warns users not to open emails with specific names because they contain a virus that will delete everything on the user's hard drive.

Published: April 24, 2014



UNSUBSTANTIATED - 'Door-to-Door Salesman Stealing Dogs'

Viral social media message claims that an unidentified man in an attached photograph is posing as a door-to-door seller in an attempt to identify households with dogs so that the animals can later be stolen and used for dog fighting.

Published: April 24, 2014


BOGUS WARNING - ' White Van With Reg 7465 CGF Stealing Dogs'

Viral social media messages claim that men driving a white van with the registration number 7465 CGF are attempting to steal dogs for dog fighting in various locations in the UK and other parts of Europe. The messages include a picture of the white van.

Published: April 24, 2014


Circulating Message Claims 'Newborn Baby Saved By Stray Dog'

Circulating social media message claims that a newborn baby abandoned in a forest was carried across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to safety by a stray dog. The message features an image of a dog beside a baby on a bed.

Published: April 23, 2014



Neil Trotter Lottery Win Advance Fee Scams

Emails notify recipients that they have been selected to receive a large donation from UK Euromillions lottery winner Neil Trotter.

Published: April 23, 2014



ADVANCE FEE SCAM - 'BBC Promo Email Award'

Message claims that the recipient's email address has been selected as the winner of £500,000 in the BBC Promo Email Award for 2014, a promotion organized by the BBC One National Lottery.

Published: April 22, 2014



PHISHING SCAM - 'Visa Card Status Notification'

'Status notification' email purporting to be from Visa claims that the recipient's card access has been limited because 'unusual activity' has been detected.

Published: April 22, 2014



HOAX - 'McDonald's Users Worm Fillers in Meat From Company Called 100% Beef'

Circulating report claims that McDonald's users 'worm fillers' in its meat but can still legally claim that there is 100% beef in their burgers because they use a company called the '100% Beef Company'.

Published: April 22, 2014



Westnet 'Upgrade Your Email' Phishing Scam

Message purporting to be from Australian ISP Westnet claims that users must click a link to upgrade a soon to expire email account.

Published: April 22, 2014



'Update IRS E-File' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service demands that recipients click a link to update their IRS e-file.

Published: April 22, 2014



Viral Image of Baby Being Tattooed

An image that appears to depict a crying child being forcibly tattooed by an adult male is currently circulating via social media, causing outrage as it travels.

Published: April 17, 2014



Viral Video Depicts a 'Mysterious' Black Ring In Sky Above England

Messages featuring video footage of a strange black ring floating in the sky above Leamington Spa in the UK suggest that no one can explain the ring's origin.

Published: April 17, 2014



WWE Legend The Undertaker is Alive

Circulating report claims that wrestling star Mark 'The Undertaker' Calaway was found dead in his Texas home.

Published: April 17, 2014



SATIRE - 'Hobby Lobby Fires Employee For Divorcing Husband'

Circulating report claims that US arts and crafts store chain Hobby Lobby recently fired a woman because she divorced her husband without company approval.

Published: April 14, 2014



PHISHING SCAM - Amazon 'Integrity Check' Email

Email purporting to be from Amazon claims that the company performs regular integrity checks on user accounts and the recipient must therefore click a one-time validation link to avoid account suspension.

Published: April 14, 2014



SCAM - 'Mermaid Found Inside Shark Video'

Circulating 'breaking news' Facebook message claims that users can click a teaser image to see a 'rare' video footage of a mermaid found inside a shark.

Published: April 14, 2014



FALSE - Facebook Warning About Morphine in Chocolate Chick Smarties

Viral Facebook message describes a case in which a child became seriously ill after eating Smarties from a chocolate chick and was later found to have morphine in his body.

Updated: April 12, 2014


HOAX - '15 foot Eastern Brown Snake Found Near Caloundra Golf Course'

Circulating message featuring images of a large snake claims that the snake is a 15 foot long Eastern Brown snake caught near a golf course at Caloundra, Queensland, Australia. According to the message, the snake is the largest Eastern Brown ever recorded.

Published: April 11, 2014



Facebook Limiting Posts Warning - 'This is a Test'

Circulating Facebook message claims that Facebook is limiting Page posts so that no more than 7% of people see them. The message, which bills itself as a test, asks users to like the message and comment 'yes' to ensure that more people see the Page's messages.

Published: April 11, 2014



SCAM -'R.I.P. Dwayne Johnson' - The Rock is NOT Dead

R.I.P. message being distributed on Facebook claims that actor Dwayne Johnson has died during filming of a dangerous stunt for the movie Fast and Furious 7.

Published: April 11, 2014



NONSENSE - 'All Americans Microchipped by 2017'

Report claims that a 2007 NBC News segment predicted that all Americans would be microchipped by the year 2017. The reports suggest that the implanted RFID microchips will be used by the US government to control its citizens.

Published: April 10, 2014



SCAM - 'Devil's Pool Fall Epic Selfie Video'

Facebook post featuring a teaser image of a man taking a photograph at the edge of Africa's Devils Pool urges users to click to watch video footage of the man's accidental fall.

Published: April 10, 2014



Heartbleed Bug - Users Warned to Change All Passwords

Circulating messages warn users about a serious security flaw called 'Heartbleed' that could expose passwords and other sensitive information.

Published: April 10, 2014



HOAX - 'Justin Bieber Admits To Being Bi-Sexual'

Circulating report claims that pop star Justin Bieber has admitted via Twitter that he is bisexual. The report features a screenshot of a supposed Twitter post that features an image of Bieber kissing singer Austin Mahone.

Published: April 9, 2014



PHISHING SCAM - 'Click to Read Vital Newsletter'

Email claims that the sender has uploaded a vital newsletter using Google Docs and requests that recipients click a link to gain immediate access by signing in with their email address details.

Published: April 9, 2014



RingCentral 'New Fax Message' Malware Email

Email purporting to be from Internet fax service RingCentral claims that the recipient has a new fax message that can be viewed by opening an attached file.

Published: April 9, 2014



LIKE-FARMING SCAM - 'Wife Pregnant for 13 Months Needs Prayers'

Circulating Facebook message claims that a South African woman who has been pregnant for 13 months is about to have an operation and needs prayers. Users are asked to share the message and type 'Amen' as a comment. The message features a photograph of a heavily pregnant woman.

Published: April 8, 2014



'New Voicemail' Pharmacy Spam Email

Notification email purporting to be from messaging service Viper claims that the recipient has a new voicemail and can click a "Listen" button to hear the message.

Published: April 8, 2014


HOAX: '2 Suns In The Sky On April 21st - Star Meccyroid'

Circulating report claims that the star Meccyroid will pass close to earth on April 21st 2014, resulting in the appearance of two suns in the sky over a 9-hour period.

Published: April 7, 2014



Facebook Promotion, Lottery and Award Scams

Messages purporting to be from Facebook claim that users have won a large sum of money in a supposed Facebook related promotion, lottery or award.

Published: April 7, 2014



April Fools Joke - 'United States to Ban Raw Meat Sales'

News snippet circulating via social media claims that the United States is set to ban raw meat sales as a means of ensuring that only pathogen free meats are sold to the public.

Published: April 7, 2014



iTunes Purchase Receipt Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from the iTunes store lists orders supposedly made via the user's Apple account. The email informs users that, if they suspect that their account has been hijacked, they should click a link and supply information to rectify the issue.

Published: April 7, 2014



Dwayne Johnson is NOT Dead

Circulating report claims that popular actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has fallen from a cliff and died while filming in New Zealand.

Published: April 7, 2014



Nails in Cheese Dog Park Warning Message

Circulating social media message featuring an image depicting pieces of cheese with nails embedded in them warns that such booby-trapped dog treats are the latest trend in dog parks.

Published: April 4, 2014


Product Order Request Money Laundering Emails

Emails sent to various companies or product providers ask recipients to reply with details of the available products with a view to a future order.

Published: April 3, 2014



Capitec ‘Routine Maintenance’ Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from South African bank Capitec claims that users must confirm their online access as part of routine maintenance to ensure online safety.

Published: April 3, 2014



MALWARE - 'Confidential - ALL Employees Important Document'

Email purporting to be a confidential message from the recipient's employer claims that all employees must fill out and submit an important document contained in an attached file.

Published: April 2, 2014



SCAM - 'Flight MH370 Found in Indian Ocean Shocking Video'

Circulating Facebook post claims that lost Flight MH370 has been found in the Indian Ocean. The message features a teaser screenshot of an intact passenger aircraft crashed in the water and invites users to click the image to view a 'shocking video'.

Published: April 2, 2014



Lamborghini Giveaway Facebook Like-Farming Scam

Facebook message claims that an associated Facebook Page is giving away ten Lamborghinis. According to the message, all users need do for a chance to win is like and share the post and comment with their desired car colour.

Published: April 1, 2014


Barclays 'Detected Irregular Activity' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from UK bank Barclays claims that irregular activity has been detected on the recipient's account and the account will therefore be restricted until the activity is verified.

Published: April 1, 2014


MALWARE - 'Traffic Accident With Your Car' Email

Email claims that the recipient 'hurt' the sender's car in a traffic accident and urges him or her to view photos of the accident by opening an attached file.

Published: March 31, 2014


HOAX - 'British Scientists Clone Dinosaur'

Report circulating via social media claims that scientists at the UK's John Moore University have successfully cloned a dinosaur. The report features a picture that supposedly depicts the cloned baby dinosaur.

Published: March 31, 2014



Facebook Sick Child Hoax - 'Help Boy with Massive Tumour by Liking, Sharing and Commenting'

Facebook post that features a picture of a boy with a very large tumour on his side claims that Facebook and CNN will donate money each time a user likes, shares or comments on the picture.

Published: March 31, 2014



'Homicide Suspect' Malware Email - Fake Critical Reach Alert

Message purporting to be from community alert system Critical Reach claims that recipients can read a bulletin about a homicide suspect by opening an attached file.

Published: March 27, 2014


TRUE - Razor Blades Found on Playground Equipment in East Moline

Circulating social media post warns that a young child was hurt after he unknowingly grabbed a razor blade attached to playground equipment at a park in East Moline, Illinois.

Published: March 26, 2014


Spurious Health Claim - 'Asparagus Can Cure Cancer'

Long circulated Internet message claims that pureed asparagus can cure cancer. The message cites several cases as examples. It claims that the information came from one Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. and was printed in the 'Cancer News Journal' back in December 1979.

Published: March 25, 2014



Google Drive Email Phishing Scam

'Urgent' email requests recipients to click a link to view a document that the sender uploaded using Google Cloud Drive.

Published: March 25, 2014



Eerie Pre-911 Ad for Pakistan International Airlines Features Twin Towers with Plane Silhouette

Circulating message features an old paper advertisement for Pakistan International Airlines that includes an image of New York's Twin Towers with the shadow of a passenger jet on the faces of the buildings.

Published: March 24, 2014



Like-Farming Video Scam - 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Found in Forest'

'Breaking News' message circulating on Facebook claims that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been found. The message features a video teaser image depicting a plane crashed on a dirt roadway beside a forest.

Published: March 24, 2014



'Eagle Snatching Kid' Viral Video is Fake

A widely-circulated YouTube video appears to show an eagle swooping down and picking up a small child in a park before dropping him a short distance away.

Published: March 21, 2014



HOAX - 'Google Earth Finds SOS From Woman Stranded on Deserted Island'

Circulating report that features an image depicting an SOS sign drawn on the ground and viewed from a high altitude, claims that the sign was made by a woman stranded on a deserted island for 7 years. The report suggests that the SOS was finally spotted via Google Earth.

Published: March 20, 2014



'All Paid For Disney World Vacation' Like-Farming Scam

Facebook Page claims that users can have a chance to win an all expenses paid vacation to Florida's Disney World in exchange for liking and sharing a promotional image.

Published: March 19, 2014



Telstra BigPond 'Re-validate Account' Phishing Email

Email purporting to be from Australian telecommunications company, Telstra, claims that the recipient's email account has exceeded its storage limit and he or she must therefore re-validate the account by clicking a link.

Published: March 19, 2014



No, Energy Drinks Do NOT Contain Bull Sperm

Message circulating via social media claims that the 'longhorn cattle company' tested some of the top brands of energy drink and found that they contain bull sperm.

Published: March 19, 2014



Viral Video Showing UFO Emerging From Behind Cloud

A video going viral via social media appears to show a UFO emerging from behind a cloud and then shooting down bolts of blue light. A message that comes with some versions of the video claims that the video is 'being deleted all over the Internet' and asks users to share because the 'truth is happening'.

Published: March 18, 2014



BMW M3 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam

Facebook message claims that users can win a BMW M3 by sharing a promotional image and liking an associated Facebook Page.

Published: March 18, 2014



HOAX - Malaysia Airlines 'Lose Yourself' Advertisement

The text on a circulating poster that is billed as an advertisement for Malaysia Airlines includes the slogans 'Lose yourself on an journey of epic proportions' and 'Wherever you go no one will ever know'. The poster claims that the pictured plane is a Boeing 777. The ad is billed as an uncanny premonition of missing Boeing 777 aircraft Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Published: March 17, 2014



Actor Wayne Knight is NOT Dead

Reports and rumours circulating via social media claim that popular actor Wayne Knight has been killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

Published: March 17, 2014



MALWARE - 'Suspicion of Cancer' Blood Test Results Email

Email purporting to be from the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) claims that an analysis of the recipient's blood has revealed a low level of white blood cells that could indicate cancer. The message urges the recipient to print out test results contained in an attached file to give to his or her doctor.

Published: March 14, 2014



Facebook Survey Scam - 'Malaysian MH370 Plane Found In Bermuda Triangle'

Facebook post claims that missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been found in the Bermuda Triangle with its passengers still alive and invites users to click a link to view breaking news video footage of the downed plane.

Published: March 13, 2014



Faux Image - 'Wild Hogfish' or 'Pig-nosed Fish'

Circulating message that features an image of a bizarre looking fish that has a pig-like snout claims that the fish is a new species discovered in Texas creeks and is called the 'Wild Hogfish'. Other variants of the message claim that the 'pig-nosed fish' - or alternatively 'pig fish' - was found in a South African dam or in the American state of Arkansas.

Published: March 13, 2014



HOAX - 'Dinosaur Egg Hatches In Berlin Museum'

Report being distributed via social media and email claims that a 200 million year old dinosaur egg has hatched in a Berlin museum after a heating system malfunctioned.

Published: March 13, 2014



HOAX - Volat-Araneus, The Flying Spider

Circulating 'News' snippet claims that Volat-Araneus, a dangerous species of flying spider, will migrate to the UK this year. The snippet links to a longer report discussing the supposed threat.

Published: March 12, 2014



NONSENSE - 'McDonalds Using Human Meat'

Circulating report claims that human meat has been discovered in McDonald's meat factories in the United States. The report further claims that the meat comes from children.

Published: March 12, 2014



'End of Windows XP Support' Popup Messages

Popup messages appearing on the screens of some Windows users warn that Microsoft will soon be ending support for its Windows XP operating system. Some users have expressed concern that the warning messages may be malicious.

Published: March 11, 2014



Theme Park Accident Phishing and Survey Scam

Circulating Facebook message claims that a fatal roller coaster accident has occurred at a large theme park and provides a link to video footage of the accident.

Published: March 10, 2014



Microsoft Account 'Outlook Web Access' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from the Microsoft Account Team claims that recipients must click a link to upgrade their email account and set up Outlook Web Access.

Published: March 10, 2014



HOAX - Facebook 'No Religion Campaign'

Circulating message claims that Facebook is set to launch a 'No Religion' campaign during which people caught spreading religious beliefs on the network will have their accounts locked.

Published: March 10, 2014



Back to the Future Arrival Time Prank

Messages that have been repeatedly posted on social media websites claim that 'Today is the day Marty McFly Arrives'. The messages refer to the date that the character 'Marty McFly' from the 'Back to the Future' movies arrives in the future. The messages usually include a graphic supposedly depicting the arrival date.

Published: March 7, 2014



'Ignore if u Don't Care' Facebook Donations for Likes Hoax

Circulating Facebook message that features an image of an emaciated young man lying on a bed claims that Facebook will donate money to help the man whenever users like, share or comment on his picture. The message claims that the man is suffering from cancer.

Published: March 7, 2014



Hoax - 'Instagram Randomly Deleting Accounts'

Circulating social media message claims that image sharing service Instagram will be randomly deleting a "huge mass" of accounts on December 20, 2013. According to the message, users can keep their accounts safe from deletion by reposting the warning.

Updated: March 7, 2014



Overblown Facebook Warning – 'Do Not Open Any PM's From Anyone!'

Message posted on Facebook warns users not to open any private messages from anyone because the PM's may contain 'malicious malware'. The message claims that just opening the PM will infect the user's computer.

Published: March 5, 2014



PayPal 'Cancel Payment' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from PayPal claims that the recipient has sent a payment to a specified merchant and offers instructions for cancelling the payment if required.

Published: March 5, 2014



HOAX - Facebook 'No Swearing Campain'

Circulating message purporting to be from Mark Zuckerberg claims that Facebook is set to launch a 'no swearing campain' and that people subsequently caught using profanity on the network will have their accounts locked pending further investigations.

Published: March 4, 2014



HOAX - 'Deadly Snow Snake' Image

Circulating message claims that an attached image depicts the deadly 'snow snake'. According to the message, the snake's venom will fatally freeze the blood of those bitten. It warns that four people in the United States have already been bitten.

Published: March 4, 2014



BMW 435i Giveaway Like-Farming Scam

Message being distributed on Facebook claims that users can win one of two BMW 435i luxury cars just by liking, sharing and commenting on a promotional image.

Published: March 4, 2014



'Friend Request From Someone You Are Already Friends With' Alert Message

Circulating Facebook post warns users not to accept a friend request from a person that they are already friends with because the request is an indication that the friend has been hacked.

Published: March 3, 2014



FedEx Package UK Lottery Advance Fee Scam

Message claiming to be from delivery company FedEx informs the recipient that a package containing a UK lottery bank cashier cheque worth over $150000000 has been waiting to be delivered for some time. The recipient is instructed to pay a 'security fee' and supply personal details so that the cheque can be delivered.

Published: February 27, 2014



American Express 'Personal Security Key' Phishing Scam

Email claiming to be from American Express instructs recipients to visit a website and create a Personal Security Key (PSK) as an account authentication measure.

Published: February 26, 2014



BMW Manager X6 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam

Message claims that the manager of the BMW Marketing Group is giving away a brand new X6 via Facebook. The message instructs users to like the manager's Facebook Page and share the promotional post for a chance to win the car.

Published: February 26, 2014



Westpac 'Bill Payment Successfully Processed' Phishing Scam

Message supposedly sent by Australian bank Westpac, notifies recipients that a payment to a biller has been successfully processed and invites them to click a link to view transaction details.

Published: February 25, 2014



Pharmacy Spam Email - 'Private Message From Google'

Email claims that recipients can access a private message from Google by clicking a link in the message.

Published: February 25, 2014



180 Unsealed XBOX ONE Giveaway Like-Farming Scam

Facebook message claims that 180 XBOX ONES cannot be sold due to being unsealed. Users are instructed to like and share the post for a chance to win one.

Published: February 25, 2014



'Parents Can't Afford Surgery' Sick Baby Hoax

Circulating Facebook post that features an image of a baby with a large surgery scar claims that Facebook and CNN will donate money to cover the family's medical expenses whenever users like, share or comment on the image.

Published: February 24, 2014



NSA Using Angry Birds and Other Apps to Snatch Personal Data?

Circulating social media message claims that America's NSA are using popular apps such as 'Angry Birds' to collect personal information from players.

Published: February 20, 2014



PayPal 'Your Transaction was Declined' Phishing Scam

Message purporting to be from PayPal claims that a transaction was declined because recent activity on the recipient's account seemed unusual. The email instructs users to process a form in an attached file to confirm account information.

Published: February 20, 2014



'Shocking Video' Facebook Scams

Posts appearing on Facebook claim that users can click a link to view "shocking", "exclusive" or "breaking news" video footage. The supposed videos cover a range of subject areas, including the discovery of giant creatures, dreadful car or plane accidents caught on film, news of a celebrity's death or injury and salacious or titillating gossip about what a particular person has supposedly done on camera.

Published: February 20, 2014



Phishing Scam – 'Apple ID Used to Download OS X Mavericks' Email

Email purporting to be from the Apple Security Department warns recipients that their Apple ID was used to download OS X Mavericks and urges them to open an attached file to confirm their accounts if they did not initiate the download.

Published: February 19, 2014



'Product Testing UK' Facebook Survey Scam

Facebook messages originating from a Facebook Page called 'Product Testing UK' claim that testers are need for iPhones and other products and invite users to click a link to fill in a 'Product Testing Application Form'.

Published: February 19, 2014



TRUE - White Lumps of Palm Oil Washed Up on UK Beaches Dangerous to Dogs

Circulating social media message claims that mysterious white lumps of palm oil being washed up on southern UK beaches can be deadly to dogs.

Published: February 19, 2014



CandySwipe Versus Candy Crush Saga Protest Messages

Circulating reports claim that King, developers of the popular game "Candy Crush Saga", is attempting to have the trademark of a game called "CandySwipe" cancelled because it infringes on its own game's trademark. But, allege the reports, "CandySwipe" actually existed - and the name was a registered trademark - well prior to the release of Candy Crush Saga.

Published: February 18, 2014


'Energy Statement' Malware Email

Message purporting to be from the "Energy Billing System" claims that the receiver's latest energy bill is now available online and can be viewed by clicking a link.

Published: February 15, 2014


Telstra Withdrawing Access to Facebook Zero

Circulating rumours claiming that Australian telecommunications giant Telstra is set to withdraw access to Facebook Zero are causing concern and consternation.

Published: February 14, 2014


Microsoft 'Reactivate Your Email Account' Phishing Scam

Mail purporting to be from Microsoft claims that recipients must click a link to complete a 'one time automatic verification' in order to avoid having their email account suspended.

Published: February 13, 2014



HOAX - 'Calls to 0809 Area Code from UK will be Charged at £1500 Per Minute'

Circulating message that includes the letterhead of the Greater Manchester Police warns users not to ever dial the area codes 0809, 0284 and 0876 from the UK because such calls will be charged at £1500 per-minute.

Published: February 13, 2014



One Ring Phone Scam Warnings

Circulating messages warn users about a 'one ring' phone scam designed to trick people into returning a missed call and thereby incurring per minute charges on top of hefty international call fees.

Published: February 12, 2014



'Shocking Accident Roller Coaster' Video Site Promotion Scam

Circulating Facebook message features a teaser image depicting a 'shocking accident' in which a rollercoaster carriage and its passengers come loose from the track and fall. The message includes a link that supposedly opens a video showing footage of the accident.

Published: February 12, 2014



'Incoming Fax Report' Malware Email

Email purporting to be a notification about an incoming payroll related fax claims that users can click a link to read the file online.

Published: February 12, 2014



Satirical Article Falsely Claims Flappy Bird Creator Committed Suicide

Circulating report claims that the developer of the wildly popular game 'Flappy Bird' has committed suicide. It also claims that at least seven other people have committed suicide because the game was removed from app stores.

Published: February 11, 2014



Vin Diesel Fake Death Report Facebook Scam

Circulating Facebook message claims that actor Vin Diesel has died and invites users to click a link to view a video with more information.

Published: February 11, 2014



RBS 'Latest Statement Available' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) advises recipients that their latest statement and pre-advice of interest & charges is available for viewing online.

Published: February 10, 2014



Satire - 'Sochi Olympic Rings Mishap Man Found Dead'

Circulating report claims that the man responsible for the technical problems that caused the Sochi Olympic Rings display to fail during the opening ceremony has been found dead with multiple stab wounds.

Published: February 9, 2014


'Justin Bieber Killed a 7-Year-Old Boy' Rogue App Facebook Scam

Message being distributed on Facebook claims that pop star Justin Bieber accidentally killed a seven-year-old child while driving under the influence.

Published: February 9, 2014


No, Michael Vick was NOT Hospitalized In A Pit Bull Attack

Circulating report claims that US footballer Michael Vick, a man reviled by many for his involvement in dogfighting, has been hospitalized after being attacked by a Pit Bull that escaped its cage and went on a rampage.

Published: February 8, 2014


Hoax - Indian Woman Gives Birth to Eleven Babies at Once

Circulating message claims that a woman in India has just broken the world record after giving birth to eleven babies at once. The message includes a photograph depicting eleven babies with a medical team.

Updated: February 8, 2014


'Rent Arrears Warning' Malware Email

Email purporting to be a 'Customer Reminder' from a landlord claims that the recipient must pay £2000 in rent arrears within ten working days or face court proceedings. The message claims that recipients can click a link to get more information.

Published: February 7, 2014



Facebook 'A Look Back' Video is Genuine (But Watch For Scam Imitations)

A number of Facebook users have heard rumours that the Facebook "A Look Back" video feature is somehow malicious. The rumours have caused concern and confusion among users.

Published: February 7, 2014



'Major Hack' Facebook Virus Warning Message

Circulating Facebook message describes a 'major hack' that is spreading a virus via private Facebook messages. The message warns users not to open attachments claiming to contain images in a .zip file.

Published: February 7, 2014



'Unconscious Chicken Farming' Social Media Messages

Circulating messages describe a proposed 'Matrix style' chicken farming method in which chickens that have had their cerebral cortex removed will be immobilised in massive steel frames and fed via tubes.

Published: February 6, 2014



cPanel 'Account Verification' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from website hosting control system cPanel claims that recipients must click a link to login and re-confirm their accounts.

Published: February 6, 2014



'Complaint Has Been Received' Pretrial Notice Malware Email

Email purporting to be a "pretrial notice" from a court secretary claims that the recipient's complaint has been received and urges him or her to follow a link to check and confirm the complaint.

Published: February 4, 2014



Satire – 'Super Bowl XLVIII Believed to have been Rigged'

Circulating report claims that officials now believe that the 2014 Super Bowl game was rigged and that the event is now being investigated by the NFL.

Published: February 4, 2014



ANZ 'Upgrade to New System' Phishing Scam

Email pretending to be from large Australian bank ANZ claims that customers must click a link to upgrade to a new system technology designed to give users maximum protection.

Published: February 3, 2014



Misleading and Inaccurate Warning – 'Don’t Answer Calls While Charging Cell Phone'

Social media message claims that a boy died in Mumbai because he took a call while his mobile phone was charging. The message also claims that people should not make or answer calls when a mobile phone's battery is low because the radiation is 1000 times stronger.

Published: February 3, 2014



'Image Has Been Sent by Evernote' Malware Email

Email purporting to be from note taking application Evernote claims that an image has been sent and invites users to click a link to view the image.

Published: February 2, 2014


Eviction Notice Malware Email

Email claims that recipients have been evicted and must vacate their premises within a specified time frame or risk further legal proceedings. Recipients are instructed to open an attached file for more information about the eviction.

Published: January 31, 2014



Gravel Drug Warning Message

Circulating message that features an image depicting an arm with severe lacerations claims that the wounds were caused by a new drug called "gravel".

Published: January 29, 2014


Facebook 'Account Verification' Scam

Message purporting to be from the "Facebook Verification Team" claims that users must verify their profiles by March 15th 2014 to comply with the SOPA and PIPA Act.

Published: January 28, 2014



No, the Labour Party is NOT Planning to Introduce a 'Pet Tax'

Circulating report claims that, if elected in 2015, the Labour Party in Britain is planning on introducing a "pet tax" that would require pet owners to pay a hefty monthly fee for each animal they own.

Published: January 28, 2014



Satire - 'Black Mambas to Help Eradicate Cane Toads'

Circulating report claims that the Government is set to introduce 22,000 black mambas to farms and backyards in the Burdekin region of Queensland, Australia in an effort to control cane toads.

Published: January 24, 2014


Overblown and Inaccurate Gonorrhea 'STD Superbug' Reports

Circulating reports claim that a new antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhea could be deadlier than AIDS and could kill in a matter of days.

Published: January 24, 2014



'Customer Service Center' Malware Emails

Email claiming to be from the "Customer Service Center" informs recipients that an order has been received and invites them to click a link to find out more about the order.

Published: January 24, 2014



Mint.Com.Uk 'Minimum Credit Card Payment Due' Phishing Scam

Message, which pretends to be from UK based credit card provider Mint, claims that the recipient's minimum credit card payment is due and advises that the latest bill can be found in an attached file.

Published: January 23, 2014



Outrage Over Viral Image Depicting Young Woman Pointing Gun at Baby

A message featuring a photograph of a young woman pointing a handgun towards a baby she is holding calls for recipients to contact police if they know the woman so that the baby's welfare can be ascertained.

Published: January 23, 2014



Hoax - 'All European Newborn Babies Microchipped From May 2014'

Circulating report claims that from May 2014, all newborn babies born in Europe will be implanted with a subcutaneous RFID chip that will include a GPS that can be linked to a satellite.

Published: January 23, 2014


'Look Out for PayPal Scam' Warning Message

Message that circulates via social media and online forums warns users to watch out for an email from PayPal that says that they have taken £35.50 to pay for a Skype account.

Published: January 22, 2014



Royal Caribbean International 'Vacation Package' Like-Farming and Survey Scam

Facebook messages and associated Page claim that users can win an all-expenses-paid vacation package with Royal Caribbean International just by first liking and sharing and then clicking a link to claim the vacation tickets.

Published: January 22, 2014



Spurious Health Tip - Onion on Feet to Take Away Illness

Circulating health tip claims that placing raw onion on your feet can take away illness by absorbing toxins from the body. The message claims that onion placed on the bottom of your feet can gain direct access to your internal organs via "meridians" in your body.

Published: January 22, 2014



The Tale of The Lion, Tiger and Bear Rescued from a Drug Dealer

Circulating message that features a photograph depicting a lion, a tiger and a bear together claims that the animals were rescued from a drug dealer's property early in their lives and have lived together in an animal sanctuary ever since.

Published: January 21, 2014



Apple Account 'Update to New SSL Servers' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from Apple claims that the user's online access has been blocked because customers are required to update their information in order to use new ssl servers.

Published: January 21, 2014



'Huge Plane Crashes Into Bridge' Survey Scam

A "breaking news" message that features an image depicting a passenger jet crashed into a traffic bridge includes a link that supposedly opens a video with more on the disaster.

Published: January 21, 2014



Boy Shot By Step Dad Charity Hoax

Message claims that, every time a text or social media message is sent on, AT&T, Verizon or Facebook will donate money to help pay for surgery on a 14 year old boy who was shot six times by his stepfather while attempting to protect his young sister.

Published: January 20, 2014



Burger King 'Now Hiring Must Be Mexican' Billboard

Circulating social media post claims that a billboard with the message "Now Hiring Must Be Mexican" was displayed outside a Burger King in Ephrata, Washington. The message features a photograph of the billboard.

Published: January 17, 2014



Moon Melon Hoax Image

Message, which features an image depicting slices of bright blue melon that grows in Japan, claims that the fruit can switch flavours after you eat it so that everything sour will taste sweet and everything salty will taste bitter.

Published: January 17, 2014



Bogus Funeral Notification Emails Point to Malware

Message purporting to be from a funeral home notifies recipients about an upcoming funeral and instructs them to click a link to view an invitation and more details about the ceremony.

Published: January 17, 2014



'Giant Snake Eats Zookeeper' Video Survey Scam

Circulating Facebook message invites users to click a link to watch a "shocking video" of a zookeeper being swallowed by a large snake. The message features a teaser image supposedly depicting the snake about to devour the hapless zookeeper.

Published: January 17, 2014



No, Five Meter Tall Human Skeletons were NOT Found in Iran

Circulating report claims that Russian scientists have found 6 giant human skeletons while excavating a site in western Iran. The report features an image depicting one of the five-meter high skeleton.

Published: January 16, 2014



'Paul Walker Still Alive After Accident' Phishing and Survey Scam

'Paul Walker Still Alive After Accident' Phishing and Survey Scam

Published: January 14, 2014



'Profile Visitors for Facebook' Rogue App and Survey Scam

Facebook message claims that users can see who has been visiting them on Facebook by installing the 'Profile Visitors for Facebook' extension.

Published: January 14, 2014



PG & E Energy Statement Malware Emails

Emails purporting to be from US energy service provider PG & E notify recipients that their most recent energy statement can be viewed by following a link.

Published: January 14, 2014



Fake Picture: 'Thailand Snake Girl' - Serpentosis Malianorcis

Circulating message, which features an image of a young girl with the lower body of a snake, claims that the Thai youngster suffers from a rare syndrome known as 'Serpentosis Malianorcis'. The message claims that thousands of people gather in front of snake girl Mai Li Fay's Bangkok home every day.

Published: January 13, 2014



Tom Crist Lottery Win Advance Fee Scam

Email purporting to be from Canadian lottery winner Tom Crist, claims that the recipient's email address has been selected to receive $1.2 million. The email claims that Tom Crist is giving all of his winnings to "charity, individuals and organisations".

Published: January 13, 2014



Legoland Child Abduction Attempt Hoax

Circulating message claims that a child went missing at Legoland but was later found with a shaved head and new clothes, drugged in a stroller, and ready to be taken out of the theme park by his would-be abductors.

Published: January 13, 2014



Fake Picasa 'New Photos' Emails Point to Dodgy Pharmacy Website

Emails purporting to be from image management system Picasa claims that new photos have been added to the user's album and they can click a button to view the album.

Published: January 13, 2014



'Win a Disney Cruise' Survey Scam

Message being distributed on Facebook claims that users can win a Disney cruise just by sharing a Disney World video and clicking a link to enter in the draw.

Published: January 10, 2014



Bogus Advice - Block Hackers by Adding 'Security' to Facebook Blocking Function

Circulating message advises Facebook users to type the word "security" into Facebook's "Block Users" function to reveal and block hackers.

Published: January 10, 2014



Fake - Giant Squid Image

Circulating message featuring an image depicting a massive squid on a beach surrounded by onlookers claims that it is the second giant sea creature washed ashore in recent months.

Published: January 10, 2014



Commonwealth Bank 'eStatement Ready' Phishing Scam

Message purporting to be from Australia's Commonwealth Bank advises the recipient that an online account statement is ready for viewing.

Published: January 9, 2014



'Singer Rihanna Found to be Dead' Facebook Survey Scam

Facebook message claims that popular singer Rihanna has been found dead. The post includes a link to a video that supposedly offers more information about the death.

Published: January 8, 2014



Satire - Pope Francis and the 'Third Vatican Council'

Circulating report claims that Pope Francis has announced sweeping changes to long-standing Catholic doctrines after concluding the Third Vatican Council. Supposedly, Pope Francis declared that "all religions are true", that "there is no literal hell", and that the "church is big enough for heterosexuals and homosexuals, for the pro-life and the pro-choice".

Published: January 8, 2014



Snow Canyon Roadway Image

Caption on a circulating image depicting a roadway at the bottom of a deep snow canyon suggests that the picture was taken in Canada.

Published: January 7, 2014



Albert (Tapper) Torney and the Can Car Sculptures That He Did NOT Make

Circulated message that features pictures of intricate model cars made from aluminium cans claims that the models were made by the late Albert (Tapper) Torney of Australia's Broken Hill.

Published: January 6, 2014



'Your Atmos Energy Bill is Available' Malware Email

Email purporting to be from US natural gas distributor Atmos Energy claims that the recipient's latest energy bill can be viewed on line by clicking a link.

Published: January 6, 2014



'Beware Hack Scam Rollercoaster Clip' Facebook Warning Message

The "rollercoaster" threat described is a typical survey scam, not a virus. And while some incarnations of such scams may attempt to trick users into installing rogue apps or malware, it will not "eat all your info" as claimed. This breathless, ALL CAPS message does not adequately warn users about the type of threat it attempts to describe and sharing it may be counterproductive.

Published: January 5, 2014


Sainsbury's 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' Phishing Scame

Email purporting to be from UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's, claims that the recipient can receive a credit of £100 just for filling in a customer satisfaction survey contained in an attached file.

Published:January 5, 2014


Satire - '18 Million Birds Dead New Year's Eve'

Circulating report claims that 18 million blackbirds fell dead on New Year's Eve in Beebe, Arkansas. The message includes an image depicting a worker picking up the bodies of the dead birds.

Published: January 3, 2014



Hoax - 'Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado'

Circulating report claims that 37 people in Colorado died of marijuana overdoses on the first day that recreational marijuana use became legal in that state.

Published: January 3, 2014



Hoax Report Claims Paul Walker Faked His Own Death

Circulating rumours suggest that actor Paul Walker faked his own death by staging a fiery car accident with the help of the Fast & Furious crew and production team.

Published: January 3, 2014



'Shark Eats Swimming Man' Facebook Survey Scam

Facebook message invites users to watch "exclusive" footage of a shark eating a swimming man. The message includes an image depicting a man being carried away inside a huge shark's mouth.

Published: January 2, 2014



'Notice to Appear in Court' Malware Emails

Emails purporting to be from the Clerk to the Court claims that recipients must appear in court on a specified date and should open a court notice contained in an attached file for further information.

Published: January 2, 2014



'Most Fatal Car Accident' Survey Scam

Message circulating on Facebook invites users to click a link to watch the "most fatal car accident of the world". A screenshot in the message depicts a person being thrown high into the air during a high-speed crash.

Published: December 31, 2013



Hoax - Extraordinary Planetary Alignment To Decrease Gravity on January 4

Circulating report claims, due to an extraordinary planetary alignment at 9:47 on January 4th, 2014 the earth's gravity will be decreased for five minutes and people will therefore weigh less and be able to jump higher.

Published: December 30, 2013



'World's Largest Snake Video' Survey Scam

Circulating Facebook message claims that the world's largest snake has been found in Mexico and invites users to click a link to view a video of the beast.

Published: December 30, 2013



Michael Jackson Died Years Ago Hoax

Message claims that Michael Jackson actually died many years ago and that the star's decayed body has recently been discovered buried at the Neverland Ranch. It suggests that an "other worldly" impostor played the role of Michael Jackson for a number of years.

Published: December 30, 2013



'My Home is Burning' Facebook Phishing and Malware Scam

Private Facebook message purporting to be from a friend of the recipient claims that the sender's house is burning to the ground. The recipient is invited to click a link to see footage of the fire.

Published: December 30, 2013



Facebook 'Closed for Maintenance' Prank

Social media messages warn users that Facebook will be closed for maintenance between the 29th and 31st of February and that recipients should send on the information so that other users will also be aware of the closure.

Published: December 30, 2013



Satire - 'Girl Suicides after Justin Bieber Beached Whale Comments'

Circulating report claims that an Australian girl committed suicide after being called a "beached whale" by pop star Justin Bieber

Published: December 23, 2013



Nigerian Government 'Office Refunding Today' Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from the Central Bank Of Nigeria claims that a fund previously promised to the recipient has finally been approved and will be paid before Christmas if the recipient provides details requested in an attached file.

Published: December 23, 2013



Kroger 'Free Gift Card' Survey Scam

Message being distributed across Facebook claims that users can receive a free gift from American retailer Kroger just by sharing a message and visiting a third party website to claim their prize.

Published: December 23, 2013



AT&T 'You Have a New Voice Mail' Malware Email

Message purporting to be from telecommunications company AT&T claims that a new voicemail could not be delivered to the recipient. The email includes an attached file that supposedly contains the voicemail.

Published: December 20, 2013



Rockstar Energy Drink Car Decal Wrapping Money Laundering Scam

Emails purporting to be from Rockstar Energy Drink offer to pay recipients a generous weekly fee for displaying an advertising decal on their vehicles.

Published: December 19, 2013



Vodafone 'Check Your Bill Online" Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from mobile phone service provider Vodafone, invites recipients to click a link to view their bill online.

Published: December 19, 2013



'Christmas Internet Virus' Warning

Circulating message warns recipients about a new "Christmas Internet Virus" which delivers its payload via files attached to fake "delivery failure" emails claiming to be from UPS, FedEx or USPS.

Published: December 19, 2013


Hoax - '9 Year Old Suspended From School for Saying Merry Christmas'

Circulating report claims that a fourth grade San Francisco boy was suspended from school for wishing his atheist teacher a Merry Christmas.

Published: December 18, 2013



Centrelink App Privacy Warning Message

Circulating message warns that a mobile phone app provided by Australia's Centrelink can get complete access to the user's phone and thereby poses significant privacy risks.

Published: December 18, 2013



Can a Positive Home Pregnancy Test Indicate Testicular Cancer?

Circulating message claims that if a man takes a pregnancy test and gets a positive result, it means he most likely has testicular cancer.

Published: December 18, 2013



Fruit-Head Dolls Cancer Warning

Circulating social media message warns that "Fruit-Head" dolls sold at some market stalls may contain chemical phthalates which can cause cancer, deformity in unborn babies and infertility in men.

Published: December 16, 2013



Amazon 'Order Details' Malware Email

Email purporting to be from Amazon, thanks recipients for their order and invites them to view order details in an attached file.

Published: December 16, 2013



Halifax Bank 'Third Party Intrusions' Phishing Scam

Email claiming to be from Halifax Bank announces that 3rd-party intrusions have been detected and the recipient's account has therefore been limited for security reasons. The recipient is instructed to click a link to confirm his or her identity and verify that the account has not been used fraudulently.

Published: December 13, 2013



Hoax - Romanian Door-to-Door Perfume Sellers Burundanga Robberies

Circulating warning claims that Romanian criminals in Spain are posing as door-to-door perfume sellers in an effort to get people to sniff a debilitating drug - possibly burundanga - so that the criminals can then enter and rob their houses.

Published: December 13, 2013


FedEx 'Verify Your Identity' Malware Emails

Email purporting to be from delivery company FedEx claims that a package delivery could not be completed because important information was missing. Recipients are instructed to click a link to verify their identity or risk having the package returned to sender.

Published: December 12, 2013



Hoax - Obama Announces 'Nationwide Muslim Outreach Program'

Circulating report claims that US President Obama has announced plans for a federally funded Muslim outreach program, which will be available in schools across the nation from February 2014.

Published: December 11, 2013



‘Free Primark Vouchers’ Facebook Survey Scam

Facebook Page promises users free £500 Primark vouchers to users who click an “offer” button and follow the instructions that are emailed to them.

Published: December 11, 2013



Hoax - Broadmeadows Shopping Centre Christmas Celebrations Ban

Protest message circulating via social media claims that the Broadmeadows Shopping Centre in Melbourne, Australia is not displaying Christmas decorations or having a Santa this year. The message implies that this supposed Christmas ban is to appease the Muslim community.

Published: December 10, 2013



Tall Tale – Bad Little Boy's Threatening Letter to Santa

Circulating image depicts a clipped newspaper story that claims a boy wrote a letter to Santa in which he threatens to put his sister's kitten in a blender if he does not get a PS4 for Christmas.

Published: December 10, 2013



Backwards Compatibility Pranks Bricks Xbox One Consoles

Circulating message describes how Xbox One users can configure their consoles to enable them to play Xbox 360 games.

Published: December 10, 2013



Neverquest Trojan Warning

Reports warn of a trojan called "Neverquest" that can activate itself on hundreds of banking and financial websites.

Published: December 9, 2013



Scammers Exploit Death of Actor Paul Walker

Circulating Facebook messages claim that users can follow a link to view footage of the car accident in which Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker was killed.

Published: December 9, 2013



Document Approval Notification Malware Email

Email claims that an attached record of invoice document about a charge of several thousand dollars needs to be reviewed and approved by the recipient.

Published: December 9, 2013



American Express 'Card Not Present' Phishing Scam Email

Email purporting to be from American Express claims that the recipient's account was used to make a purchase, but the card was not presented during the transaction. The message suggests that recipient click a link if he or she does not recognize the transaction.

Published: December 6, 2013



'Win a Gold iPhone' Like-Farming and Survey Scam

Message generated from an "iPhone 5" Facebook page claims that users can win a limited edition gold iPhone 5s by liking a promotional image and visiting a third-party website to claim the prize.

Published: December 6, 2013



Two Million Passwords Stolen

Messages circulating via social media warn that two million passwords for popular online websites, including Facebook, Twitter and Gmail, have been stolen in a recently discovered breach.

Published: December 6, 2013



Royal Mail Lost or Missing Package Malware Email

Email purporting to be from UK Customs and Border Protection claims that a Royal Mail package sent to the recipient has been "detained" and that the recipient must submit documents contained in an attached file to have the package released.

Published: December 6, 2013



'Account Billing Subscription Expired' Virgin Media Phishing Scam

Email purporting to be from Virgin Media claims that the recipient's billing subscription has expired and the associated email account is about to be suspended.

Published: December 4, 2013



Unrelated Image Used - 'Christian Girl Thrown Out Window By Muslim Mob'

Circulating protest message that features a photograph of a woman falling from a building claims that the image was taken last week and depicts a "Christian girl" being deliberately thrown from a window by a Muslim mob.

Published: December 4, 2013



'Prayer For The Nation' Falsely Attributed to Billy Graham

Circulating message features a "Prayer For The Nation" that it claims was penned by 95 year old American Christian evangelist Billy Graham.

Published: December 2, 2013



Christmas Lights were NOT Banned in Cardwell, North Queensland

Circulating rumours claim that the local council in the small north Queensland town of Cardwell have banned the displaying of Christmas lights after receiving a complaint from a local mosque.

Published: December 2, 2013



No, NASA did NOT Intercept An Intergalactic Distress Call in 1998

Circulating report claims that NASA detected a distress call from another galaxy back in 1998 but has only recently been able to decipher the message.

Published: December 2, 2013