Posts that claim Rihanna has been found dead are making the rounds on Facebook. This isn’t true. The messages are being spread by scammers in an effort to lure users to shady websites.“RIP – Singer Rihanna found dead after being raped! 2014,” read the bogus messages written in uppercase letters. “OMG she was so innocent.”
Hoax Slayer reports that the links don’t point to a website containing additional details on the singer’s alleged death. Instead, victims are taken to a site that appears to host a video.
However, in reality, there’s no video. When users click the “Play” button, they’re told to share the post on their own Facebook timeline in order to gain access to the content.
Then, they’re instructed to complete a verification process by filling out an online survey. To make the scheme even more attractive, victims are promised various prizes if they take the survey.
After the survey is completed, internauts are asked to enter their mobile phone numbers and other personal information. By providing their phone numbers, users are actually signing up for premium mobile services that can seriously inflate their bills.
The bottom line is that Rihanna is not dead and there’s no video. If you come across such posts on Facebook, the best thing you can do is to report them.
Just because the messages have been posted by one of your friends doesn’t mean they’re legitimate. The most likely scenario is that your friends have fallen for the scam.
If you’re a victim, make sure you remove the scam post from your timeline. If you’ve provided your mobile phone number, and you start receiving SMS messages, you’re most likely being billed for them.
In some cases, the website on which you’ve provided the mobile phone number contains instructions on how to unsubscribe from the service. You might also want to file a report with your mobile phone company.