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!