19 August 2014

Hoax messages have been circulating on Facebook, exploiting the recent tragic death of Robin Williams.

The posts urge you to click a link to watch a video by Robin Williams saying goodbye.

Clicking the link instead takes you to a website which insists that you first share the post on your own Facebook wall, and ‘verify your age’ by completing a short survey.

This is a scam. No such video exists and the scammers earn money for each person they can trick into completing the survey.

This is one of many scams targeting disasters and tragedies as scammers prey on events of global concern. The scams are easily interchanged to suit new events.

To help prevent the spread of these scams, do not Share or Like anything on Facebook unless you have already seen it and are confident it is safe.

You should be suspicious of any post that requires you to blindly Share posts or provide personal information.

Linked websites may also host and download malicious software to your system, while others may seek your financial or identity details.

Unless you are confident about a post, the safest option is to avoid clicking on it.

You should be suspicious of posts which seem unbelievable. If you are unsure and are still curious, you should seek the information from a source you trust.

More information

You can see examples of the fake Robin Williams Goodbye Video posts and further background on the Hoax-slayer website, or on welivesecurity.

Similar scams have targeted other global events, such as the MH17 crash.

You can report inappropriate pages to Facebook.

Stay Smart Online has more information on avoiding online scams and managing spam.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.

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Disclaimer

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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