Industry News

Brad Pitt death hoax leads to clickbait site

A new scam leveraging Brad Pitt’s name and popularity is making the rounds on Facebook, according to news reports.

The fake news story claims Brad Pitt took his life after the announcement that he was divorcing Angelina Jolie went public. A banner allegedly from Fox News announces the breaking news.

The banner opens a click-bait website that fools users into installing rogue Facebook apps, paying for rogue antivirus scanners, downloading malware, or divulging personal information in suspect surveys, according to Hoax Slayer.

Some users were prompted to allow a fake Fox News app permission to their Facebook profiles.


Those who bypassed the permission pop-up were redirected to a news story about the actor’s alleged death:

Brad Pitt, 52, a multi-awarded American actor and husband of Angelina Jolie, 41, shot himself in the head at a shooting range on Sunday. He was under significant stress because the couple ‘were going through a divorce and he had a history of depression’, sources have said.”

Facebook has issued a warning, advising users to avoid clicking the fake news report and, if they have done so, to change account passwords and scan for malware.

This malware isn’t new and is known to come from malicious browser extensions,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNNMoney. “Facebook [notifies] people when we detect malware on their computer, and we help them clean it up.”

Celebrity death scams like this one are very common, so stay alert and verify every story from multiple sources before clicking!

About the author

Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.

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  • In today’s date attackers are getting smarter day-by-day, and they are always observing the trending search across the internet. So, for them every small news is like an opportunity, as people are tend to click the links without thinking about it much over social media platforms such as Facebook.

    Everyone should understand that, people are vulnerable on social media platforms as much they could be in person due to someone. People should not believe everything they come across over internet. Like over here, a fake news regarding, Brad Pitt. If any news comes out, it’s best to search for it over internet, and then look into it, rather than directly clicking over the links they come across. As catchy titles and graphics, plays major roles in attracting viewers. If the news is real, they will definitely find it over internet.