Messages currently circulating on Facebook claim the famous actor Will Smith has died after undergoing spinal surgery. The posts are part of a scam designed to trick users into installing a shady application.
The bogus posts about Will Smith’s death read something like this:
“Hollywood Press: Will Smith has just been pronounced dead after undergoing an immediate spinal surgery caused by an accident while filming Hancock 2 (2014). The negligence of the doctor with medication overdose was blamed to be the cause of his death. Watch the full video of CCTV cam installed in the operating room where he was admitted.”
According to Hoax Slayer, users who click on the link contained in the post are not taken to a video. That’s probably because Will Smith is not dead and there’s no such video.
Instead, victims are led to a website where they’re asked to install a rogue Facebook application that asks for the permission to post on the user’s behalf.
Once this app is installed, victims are instructed to download a “Facebook media plugin” in order to view the video of Will Smith’s operation. This second application is designed to install malicious software on the user’s device.
There’s an easy way to make sure you don’t fall victim to such scams if you can’t help clicking on the link. If you’re not immediately presented with the promised content, you’re likely dealing with a scam.
Beware of websites that ask you to install various pieces of software since, in most cases, they turn out to be malicious.
Another way to protect yourself against such scams is to do a Google search before clicking on the links. If it’s just another celebrity death hoax, you’ll find no results on reputable news sites or you’ll come across an article such as this one.