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Hugh Hefner is NOT Dead - R.I.P. Hugh Hefner Facebook Virus Warning Hoax

Outline
Warning message circulating on Facebook advises users not to click on the R.I.P. Hugh Hefner page because it is a virus. Hefner is not dead as claimed in recent Internet rumours.



Brief Analysis
Hugh Hefner is not dead. Recent and widespread social media rumours have falsely claimed that Hefner died of a heart attack. Pranksters have subsequently created a number of "R.I.P Hugh Hefner" Facebook pages. These pages are not malicious and you will certainly not get a virus simply by going to one of the pages. Nevertheless, scammers may attempt to exploit these rumours, so users should certainly use caution when following links that claim to offer information about Hefner's supposed demise.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 13th July 2011
First published: 13th July 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
URGENT: DO NOT click on the page RIP Hugh Hefner it is a virus ... please repost to all your friends.

RIP Hugh Hefner Virus Warning




Detailed Analysis
Hugh Hefner Tweet
This supposedly urgent message, which is currently gaining momentum on social network Facebook, warns users not to click on the "RIP Hugh Hefner" Facebook Page, because it is a virus. The message requests that users repost the information so that other users will also be warned of the supposed danger.

However, although a number of R.I.P. Hugh Hefner pages have recently been created, these are simply poor taste pranks and not overtly malicious. Your computer will not get a virus if you visit one of these pages.

First and foremost it should be noted that Huge Hefner is NOT dead as claimed in a spate of recent social media driven rumours. Many of the rumours suggested that 85 year old Hefner died from a sudden heart attack with some adding the fanciful footnote that he may have died of a broken heart due to his breakup with former fiancée Crystal Harris. As Hugh himself has noted via his Twitter feed and other media outlets, the claims of his death are nonsense and the Playboy founder is still "very much alive & kicking". Hefner seems to be taking the silly rumours with good humour, noting in a recent tweet, "I'm happy to see how many people are pleased that I'm not dead. I'm pleased too".

Soon after the rumours began circulating, R.I.P. Hugh Hefner pages began appearing on Facebook. There are now several dozen such pages, with membership numbers ranging from just a handful, to more than 300,000. While these pages are downright silly, and of course utterly pointless since Hefner is still with us, there is nothing overtly malicious about them. You will NOT somehow, magically get infected by a computer virus just by visiting one of the pages. In fact, so far at least, none of the RIP Hugh Hefner Pages I have examined contain any malicious content or links. Of course, it is possible that an owner or member of such a page could post links to malicious websites or rogue applications. However, this is true of any Facebook Page, not just those related to the alleged demise of Mr Hefner.

That said, it should nevertheless be noted that scammers sometimes capitalize on such celebrity death rumours. Scammers may send bogus messages promising more information, videos or images pertaining to the supposed deaths with links that lead to malware websites, rogue applications or survey scams. Thus, it would be wise to use caution if you encounter messages about the "death" of Hugh Hefner. And, another reason not to follow such links - even those that simply lead to non-malicious "R.I.P. Hugh Hefner" Pages - is that by doing so, you are simply encouraging the imbeciles who create such pages in the first place. This is especially true if you "Like" the page. It seems apparent that, quite often, the sole reason that people create such pages is simply to see how many "likes" the can generate. Remember the useful Internet adage, "Don't feed the trolls".

Bookmark and Share References
Rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated': Relax ladies, Hugh Hefner is alive and kicking
Twitter @hughhefner
I'm not dead: Hugh Hefner dismisses Twitter death as a hoax



Last updated: 13th July 2011
First published: 13th July 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer