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Oprah Winfrey is NOT Dead Links in Message Lead to Rogue App

Message appearing on Facebook claims that media queen Oprah Winfrey has been found dead at her house after committing suicide at her home. The message invites users to click a link to watch an exclusive video message that the star made before her death.

Oprah Winfrey

Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are untrue. Oprah Winfrey is not dead. The link in the message points to a rogue app that, once installed, will send the same spam messages to all of the user's friends. Users will also be that they must download a suspect "plugin" and participate in various online surveys before gaining access to the supposed video. Do not click on any links in this message.

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Detailed Analysis
According to a message being distributed via Facebook, famous media personality Oprah Winfrey has been found dead at her residence after "committing suicide on her living room". The message, which is disguised as a news article link from Fox News, claims that users can see a video featuring a last message from Oprah along with the suicide itself.  
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Oprah is alive and well. The message is a scam designed to trick users into installing a rogue app, downloading suspect software and participating in survey scams. Those who fall for the ruse and click the link will be asked to give permission for an application to access their information and post on their behalf:

Next, they will be told that they must download and install a "plugin" before seeing the promised video footage:

And, another link will take them to third party websites that try to entice them into participating in surveys and providing personal information.

Meanwhile, the rogue app will send out the same scam messages to all of the victim's Facebook friends.No matter how many surveys the victim completes, he or she will never get to see the promised video which never existed to begin with.

This celebrity death scam ruse is becoming increasingly common on Facebook.  Celine Dion, Will Smith, Jackie Chan and Miley Cyrus are just a few celebrities that have been used in similar scams in recent months. It is important to verify any celebrity death messages you receive via a legitimate news source before sharing them or following any links that they may contain. If a high profile celebrity such as Oprah Winfrey really did commit suicide, the mainstream media all around the world would extensively cover reports of the death. 

If you receive this or another unverified celebrity death message, do not click on any links that it contains.

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Last updated: November 6, 2013
First published: November 6, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
Research by Joshua Brunson, Brett Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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