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'R.I.P. Miley Cyrus' Facebook Scam


Circulating Facebook post claims that singer Miley Cyrus has died. The post features a teaser image of the star on a bed with a bottle of pills beside her. Clicking the image supposedly opens a video with more information about the star's demise.

Rip miley
© Zerbor

Brief Analysis

Miley Cyrus is not dead. The post is a scam designed to trick you into promoting the message on Facebook and divulging your personal information via dodgy survey scam pages. The image in the post is taken from a music video.


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Detailed Analysis

'R.I.P Miley Cyrus' Post Circulating on Facebook

According to a post being distributed on Facebook, popular entertainer Miley Cyrus has died. The post, which features an image of the star on a bed with an open bottle of pills beside her claims that Cyrus was 'found 48 minutes ago'.

The image includes a 'Play' button that ostensibly opens a video with more information about the star's supposed death.

Miley Cyrus is NOT Dead - Post is a Survey Scam

However, the claims in the post are false. Miley Cyrus is alive and well. The post is a scam designed to trick you into spamming your Facebook friends with the same bogus material and providing your personal information on suspect survey websites.

If you click the 'Play' button, you will be taken to a fake Facebook web page that appears to host the promised video. However, when you attempt to play the video, a message will claim that you must first share it on Facebook.

After you share as instructed, a new - and equally fake - page will load that claims that you have successfully unlocked the video (See screenshot below). But, alas, an overlay on the page claims that you must 'verify your identity' by completing one or more online surveys before you will be allowed to view the footage. The message presents a list of survey links for you to choose from.

Clicking any of the links takes you to dodgy third-party websites that promise the chance to win prizes in exchange for filling in surveys and providing your information.

Many of the surveys ask you to enter your mobile phone number, an act that subscribes you to a very expensive text messaging 'service' that charges you several dollars for every SMS they send.

Others may ask for your name and contact details as part of a prize entry process. But, fine print on the page will state that your information will be shared with third-party marketers. Thus, you may soon find yourself inundated with unwelcome marketing calls, emails, and letters.

Meanwhile, the people who run these scam campaigns will earn a commission every time a person provides their personal details on one of the survey sites.

And, of course, no matter how many surveys you complete, you will never get to see the video.

In fact, Miley Cyrus has 'died' in similar circumstances on several other occasions.

Image in Post From Music Video

The teaser image used in the scam message is taken from a music video featuring Cyrus along with The Flaming Lips and Moby.

Verify Celebrity Death Claims Before Clicking or Sharing

Fake celebrity death notices are a favourite scammer ruse. Many, like this one, attempt to trick users into participating in survey scams. Other versions may entice users to visit websites that harbour malware.

It is wise to verify any celebrity death messages that come your way via social media before you click any links or share the posts. The mainstream media always extensively covers celebrity deaths, so a search on a news portal such as Google News should quickly reveal if a death story is true.

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Last updated: November 6, 2014
First published: November 6, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

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