'Singer Rihanna Found to be Dead' Facebook Survey Scam
OutlineFacebook 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.
© Depositphotos.com/ Jean_Nelson
Brief AnalysisRihanna is not dead and has not been attacked. The message is a scam designed to trick Facebook users into spamming their friends with the same bogus material and participating in suspect online surveys. This is just one of several Rihanna death hoaxes that have circulated in recent years. If the message comes your way, do not click any links that it contains.
A post currently circulating on Facebook claims that popular singer star Rihanna has been found dead after being raped. The message includes a link to a video that users may believe provides more information about the star's demise.
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Rihanna is not dead and she has not been attacked as claimed. The message is just one more in a recent series of survey scams that use the promise of video footage as bait to get users to click.
Those who succumb to the ruse and click the link will be taken to a bogus Facebook page that supposedly hosts the video about Rehanna. However, when users click the "Play" button on the video, they will receive a "video restricted" notice that claims that they must first share a link to the page via Facebook before they can see the footage. By sharing, users are effectively spamming the same scam message to all of their friends.
But, if they do share as requested, they will be taken to another page that claims that they must complete a "verification" process by participating in one or more online surveys. Thus, users will be drawn into a seemingly endless array of survey pages that all offer enticing prizes in exchange for providing their mobile phone numbers and other personal information.
By providing their numbers, users will in fact be subscribing to ridiculously expensive sms services that are charged at several dollars per minute. And, because they have provided their name and contact details, they may be inundated with unwanted advertising emails, surface mail and phone calls.
The scammers responsible for the fake messages earn commissions via dodgy affiliate marketing schemes whenever a victim participates in a survey.
Some versions of this scam may also try to trick users into installing rogue Facebook applications or malicious browser plugins.
Rehanna has been featured in several death hoaxes in recent years. In January 2012, a widespread hoax message falsely claimed that Rehanna had died in a plane crash.
It is important that you check with a reputable news source before forwarding any message that claims that a celebrity has died. If true, such deaths are always extensively reported by the mainstream media. And, if such a death message comes your way, do not follow any links in the message, at least until you have confirmed that the death claims are true.
Last updated: January 8, 2014
First published: January 8, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen