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Charlie Sheen Death scam spreads across Facebook

Posted by Bradley Wint on 10/03/2011

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With the implementation of Facebook’s new “Like” policy, sites have quickly started to abuse the new feature. With Charlie Sheen trying but failing to take over the web, someone has cleverly set up a clickjacking site with a fake video about his purported death at his home.

So let’s start off by saying the rumor is false.

The hoax site uses Javascript that secretly Likes the video when users click on it. Sure they may see a video, but on the backend, they’ve Liked the page and thus unknowingly created a small post on their Facebook profile for others to see. I must admit given Charlie Sheen’s current downhill situation, I almost fell into the trap of visiting the site myself, but after looking at the URL, it was apparent that it was another scam. The description was also enticing, going something like this:

Exclusive Video: Charlie Sheen found Dead at his House!, Breaking News: Developing Story Charlie Sheen Dies from Cardiac Arrest and taken away in Ambulance!

Most of the clickjacking attempts seem to originate from a site called FouTube/TouTube, which is a YouTube rip off, with many pages being hosted on several content relevant top level domains.

Funny enough, the rumor started up on Twitter, with even ZDNet falling for the scam.

Exclusive Video: Charlie Sheen found Dead at his House! http://zd.net/fOpMY2
@ZDNet
ZDNet

Obviously the link takes you to a 404 page, since they have removed their post about it.

So beware people, before randomly clicking on links, make sure to check the URL. If you do still head over to the site, make sure to look for key factors. For instance TouTube and FouTube look almost exactly like YouTube with certain things being off like the font style and color. Finally, you can run programs like NoScript to block these malicious Java based programs from operating in the background.

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