SURVEY SCAM - 'Sylvester Stallone Died in Horrible Car Accident'
OutlineFacebook post claims that actor Sylvester Stallone has died in a car accident. The post features a teaser image of a crashed car and invites users to click a 'play' button to view video footage of the accident.
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Brief AnalysisSylvester Stallone has not been killed in a car accident. He is alive and well. The message is a typical survey scam designed to trick you into sharing the scam post and providing your personal information on suspect online survey websites. The image used in the scam post was stolen from a news article about a 2013 accident in Beatrice, Nebraska.
R.I.P. Sylvester Stallone Died in a Horrible Car Accident!
His driver was drunk did'nt saw truck
Circulating Post Claims Sylvester Stallone Died in Car Accident
The R.I.P. message features an image depicting a mangled sports car and an attending emergency crew. It invites users to click a video 'play' button on the image to view more about the accident.
Claims are False - Sylvester is Alive and Well
The image used in the post was taken from a 2013 news article. The picture depicts an accident in which a 53-year old man died in a parking lot crash in Beatrice, Nebraska. The image has no connection to Sylvester Stallone.
Message is Survey Scam - Video Does Not Exist
If you click on the 'play' button in the message you will be taken to a fake Facebook Page that hosts a fake video player and features a collection of fake user comments.
The Page states that it is 'mandatory' that you share the information with your Facebook friends before seeing the video. But, even after you share as demanded, you still won't get access to the footage.
Instead, a second message will inform you that, before you see the video, you must 'verify your age' by completing a survey. A list with links to various survey websites will appear on your screen.
But, participating in the surveys requires you to provide your personal information. Some may ask you to fill in a form with your name, address and phone details, ostensibly so that you can go in the draw for a prize. But, fine print on the page will state that all of your details will be shared with third parties and used for marketing purposes. Thus, you may soon find that you are inundated with annoying phone calls, text messages, email, and surface junk mail.
Some versions ask you to provide a mobile phone number, an act that actually subscribes you to an SMS 'service' that charges you several dollars every time they send you a text message. It is often very difficult to unsubscribe from these SMS services.
The scammers who create these fake 'shocking video' messages are paid a fee via dodgy affiliate marketing systems each time they trick a user into participating in a survey and providing their information.
And, of course, no matter how many surveys you complete, you will never get to see the video, which never existed to begin with.
Be Cautious of Celebrity Death Messages on Social Media
Thus, it is important to verify any celebrity death messages that come your way via social media or email. Some are outright hoaxes. In fact, one such 2013 hoax falsely claimed that Sylvester Stallone had died in a snowboarding accident. Many other celebrity death messages are scams like this one.
If a celebrity really does die, his or her passing will likely be widely covered by news media. Thus, a search of a news portal such as Google News should quickly reveal if a celebrity death claim is true or false.
© Depositphotos.com/ Jean_Nelson
Last updated: August 21, 2014
First published: August 21, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen