Whitney Houston's Death Triggers Sleazy Facebook Scams

Whitney Houston Whitney Houston's death was a shot heard 'round the web. From Twitter to Facebook and every social network inbetween, people have been lamenting the pop icon's passing over the past few days, and most of it is completely genuine. But there's certainly one nasty side effect of this sad news: Cybercriminals have been hell-bent on capitalizing on Houston's death with hoaxes and scams that spread viruses and suck naive, curious clickers into bizarro surveys that request personal information.

For instance, you may have seen someone in your News Feed on Facebook post something along the lines of "I cried watching this video. RIP Whitney Houston" followed by a link to what promises to be a YouTube video. But if you click on the video link, you'll end up on a survey site that asks for your cellphone number. Sketchtastic!

It's easy enough to point the finger at lame-o web scammers, but whenever trends like this pop up, I can't help but think personal responsibility comes into play here, too.

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Sure, some of these scammy links do a fine job of looking legit, but for the most part, you can tell which are totally toxic spam! The trademarks include misspelled words, poor grammar or punctuation, or just the fact that you know your sister's Led Zeppelin-loving boyfriend is probably the last person on Facebook to actually care -- or cry about! -- Whitney Houston's death.

In other words, those who fall victim to these cyber-scams gotta shoulder some of -- if not all of -- the blame. They're simply lacking common sense -- something that's invaluable on now enormous social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Sure, the sites should be regulating this spammy content, but it's also the user's job to distinguish a questionable link from a legit one. If you can't take the heat and keep falling into scam traps, it seems like you'd do well to sign off your fave social network!

Have you ever fallen victim to a celebrity death scam on Facebook or Twitter?

 

Image via Larry Bussaca/Getty

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