Scams exploiting Amy Winehouse, Norway massacre

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Warnings have been made about a multitude of social networking videos claiming to show late singer Amy Winehouse.

At least five videos that redirect to scam surveys and steal personal details have surfaced that claim to show footage of Winehouse hours before her death on Saturday afternoon.

As with other persistent scams, users are lured into an online survey where the scammer earns a commission for each survey that victims complete. They also capture personal details and have access to a user's profile and repost the link on their Facebook wall.

Similar scams have been seen relating to 'Disney's Most Shocking Hidden Message' and the personal lives of tabloid favourites.

Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Clule said victims should remove fake posts from their Facebook wall to stop the scam spreading.

AVG threat research head Roger Thompson said the "salient point is that there is a group of greedy, covetous, rapacious, insatiable, avaricious, penurious, gluttonous vultures who eagerly await some misfortune, such as Amy or the cruel events in Norway".

“Within hours of these events, they flood Facebook with promises of prurient or sensational videos, but the real goal is to trick kids or teens into agreeing to a $10 a month charge to the cell phone bill. They assume they won't read the fine print.”

Malicious search results for dead celebrities are nothing new, with malware and malicious searches having lured victims following the deaths celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze and Natasha Richardson.

Websense Security Labs senior manager Patrik Runald said: “During times of crisis or breaking news, your best bet is to stick with the largest news organisations you trust. Avoid the potentially dangerous halls of search engines and social media sites, which are more susceptible to compromise and manipulation.”

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition
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