As much as many of us may want the Charlie Sheen downward spiral to come to a screeching halt, I'm pretty sure none of us would wish death upon the delusional guy. That's why it's good to know that the recent rumor that Sheen died of a heart attack is actually an Internet hoax-turned-virus. Unlike his almost-defunct TV show, Two and a Half Men, the virus has been airing all over the place -- namely on Facebook and Twitter.
The virus-spreading posts typically start, "Exclusive Video," "RIP!" or "Breaking News." They then say "Charlie Sheen found Dead at his House" or some variation and include a link to a site that appears to be fueling the rumor.
Given the kind of frenzied appetite we've all had in the past week to read the latest drama from Camp Crazy Charlie, you gotta admit, it's actually kind of a brilliant way to conduct technological terrorism. Prey on people's addiction to Sheen FAILs "wins"!
But, while at first glimpse, the scheme may be well-played, it's definitely sick ... and kinda moronic.
According to ZDNet, the scam works like this:
Any of the above will lead you to a fake YouTube page such as TouTube or FbTube. Clicking on play prompts you with the following message: “Please complete a 30 second survey to verify that you are human.” The Fake YouTube player video window is overlayed with a hidden iframe; actually clicking on it anywhere will submit a Facebook Like and spread the post to your Facebook page. The scammer earns his or her money via a commission for every survey completed.
Oh, geeze. Come on, people. Are you really willing to fill out random 30-second surveys in order to watch (fake) news about Charlie Sheen? If you are, you probably deserve the virus! And anyone who is friends with you on Facebook deserves to be exposed to the virus. I mean, come on, isn't it kind of obvious that you've gotten yourself into some kind of scam when you're being made to jump through hoops to check out celeb gossip, which usually runs so rampant on the Internet, for ahem ... FREE??
All (mostly) kidding aside, if you did get hijacked because you can't contain yourself from clicking when you see a headline about Adonis DNA, you can clean up the mess you've left behind by "unliking" the page from your Facebook wall, reporting the scam to Facebook security, and then trying to get a grip on your addiction to that drug called Charlie Sheen!
Have you seen the "Charlie Sheen is dead" hoax links floating around online?
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