‘MH370 Found’ Hoaxes go Viral: Fake CNN Accounts Post ‘Clickjacking’ Scams, False Claims

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | March 25, 2014 1:07 AM EST

Scammers seem to be taking advantage of the enormous human interest that the entire saga of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has generated.

In what has been widely referred to as a display of bad taste, fake news profiles and accounts have popped up out of nowhere across the social media channels, with each one claiming to have found the ill-fated flight that disappeared on 8 March, an hour into its journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

@OfficiaI_CNN
A picture from one of the fake CNN Twitter accounts (@OfficiaI_CNN).

Worst, as News.com.au notes, is that the fake posts include what is known as 'clickjacking' scams, which leads users into promotional websites and potentially comprise the security of one's account. The fake profiles, links and hoaxes have targeted both Facebook and Twitter.

There has been a spate of newly created CNN Twitter handles, claiming to have found the lost plane, somewhere in some obscure place or "in a bay". Such fake profiles include @OfficialCNN, @RealCNN, @OfficiallCNN, @Offical_CNN and @OFFICIALCNN_.

Quite unfortunately, several Twitter users have fallen victim to the displeasing hoaxes. The false claims made by these fake accounts - that the missing plane was found - have been retweeted several times as well.

For instance, a fake post made by @OfficialCNN that states "BREAKING: Malaysian Flight 370 has been found in bay", was retweeted nearly 5,000 times.

One post, retweeted almost 500 times, shows a picture in which stranded people 'from the MH370' standing on the wings of the plane. The plane seemed to have landed safely without breaking apart over open waters, with passgers seeming to be safe and sound in the unbelievable fictional depiction. Infact it's quite surprising that some people actually gave heed to such posts. 

Here are some posts from fake handles that are to be avoided:

To contact the editor, e-mail:

(Photo: @OfficiaI_CNN / )
A picture from one of the fake CNN Twitter accounts (@OfficiaI_CNN).
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