Scam on Facebook exploits Robin Williams’ suicide

19 Aug 2014

Internet security company ESET Ireland is warning Facebook users about a scam spreading across the social network that exploits the recent suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams.

The scam appears on Facebook users’ Timelines as a post shared by one of their friends. Its title is ‘ROBIN WILLIAMS SAYS GOODBYE WITH HIS PHONE VIDEO BEFORE SUICIDE’. The post includes a link to ‘watch’ the video.

Clicking the link takes users to a third-party website, which claims to have a video purportedly filmed on Williams’ mobile phone just before his death. 

Clicking on the link to watch the video informs the user he or she first needs to share the link on Facebook.

Peter Stancik, security expert at ESET, said the more people complete the survey, the more money the scammers make.

“This is not the first time that a celebrity death is used as click bait on Facebook,” Stancik said.

“And, in case you were wondering: no video is shown after completing this Facebook scam.”

The best thing to do, advised ESET Ireland, is not to share or click on this scam, and report any sightings of it to Facebook.

The scam on Facebook that takes advantage of the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams

Flowers for Robin Williams image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic