Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook lit up on Saturday as users shared stories on how her music impacted their life, posted their condolences to the family, and prayed she rest in peace.
While many were paying their virtual respect to the deceased star, cybercriminals took advantage of the buzz in order to direct traffic to their survey scams and data mining websites.
Security experts over at TrendMicro warned about a survey scam circulating on Facebook that’s drawing it’s victims in by using a fake video as bait.
Whitney Houston Death Video Exclusive
We all love Whitney Houston. Here is a video before she dies.
When users click the link, they’re redirected multiple times before finally landing on the third-party website that asks you to divulge personal information in exchange for a prize (iPhone, Wal-Mart gift card, etc.).
Not wanting to stop there, cybercrooks also launched a spam campaign on Twitter that involved a blog post dedicated to the singer that the cybercrooks rigged to automatically redirect visitors to another site offering Whitney Houston wallpapers and ringtones.
At some point during that site visit, users would then be redirected to another survey site that asked users for their mobile phone number.
TrendMicro created this diagram that illustrates the hoops unsuspecting users are shoved through in the Twitter scam:
Image Credit: TrendMicro
Whitney Houston Fans Should Beware of Future Scams
There’s a very good chance that additional scams will pop-up as the story develops and more information regarding her passing is released to the public.
Following Steve Jobs’ passing, cybercrooks launched a series of spam/scam campaigns that ranged from free iPad giveaways on Facebook to spam emails claiming Steve Jobs was still alive. They even made up a fake charity fund (promoted via spam) to steal money from adoring fans.
Users should remain vigilant when following links posted on social networks or shared in unsolicited emails. Try to stick to well-known and reputable media outlets to make sure you get the best information and to minimize your chances of walking straight into a cybercrook’s trap.
Cybercriminals will be doing their best to catch people off-guard by tapping into their curiosity regarding the lives of our favorite celebrities in order to collect personal information, get users to complete surveys or cheat them out of their hard-earned cash.
Stay on guard, folks and R.I.P Whitney Houston!
Photo of Whitney Houston Credit: Wikipedia