'Watch the MH17 Plane Missile Hit Video Tape in Mobile' Goes Viral on Facebook
By Reissa Su | July 30, 2014 12:02 PM EST
A new scam involving the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has gone viral in Facebook. The viral post with the eye-grabbing headline "Watch the MH17 Plane Missile Hit Video Tape in Mobile" attracts Facebook users to click on its link featuring an alleged "live video" of the MH17 crash in Ukraine.
A local resident rides past debris at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash, near Petropavlivka village in the Donetsk region July 23, 2014. The bodies of the first victims from a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday amid dignified grief tinged with anger. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT DISASTER CIVIL UNREST)
When the link is clicked, users are then redirected to a page that looks like a copy of a CNN webpage. An image can be seen with a "Play" button including several fake comments. Facebook users are then asked to "Share it below!" as another bait to make the scam go viral. Clicking the "share" button will only make the scam spread in Facebook.
If Facebook users follow all the instructions, they will be redirected to another website that offers surveys. Those who complete the surveys will help the scammers earn money.
The actual image of the alleged MH17 plane catching fire looks Photoshopped or altered to mislead users. According to the Epoch Times, the scam is similar to another viral post with the headline "Missile Fired from Pro-Russian Militants to Malaysian Airline MH17." Clicking on the link will ultimately lead to a website asking users to complete surveys.
Facebook users are warned not to click on the MH17 scam link to prevent it from spreading and fooling friends and family. If the post has been shared, users are advised to delete it from their timeline to remove it completely.
Scammers behind the "Watch the MH17 Plane Missile Hit Video Tape in Mobile" may change the images from time to time to attract more victims. Online threat experts recommend "thinking before clicking."
According to reputable news agencies and the Ukrainian authorities, no footage has been taken or recorded with the missile hitting the MH17 plane. The black box recovered from the crash site suggests that the plane was downed by a "massive explosive decompression" due to a rocket hitting the aircraft.
All 298 people on the board the plane had died when MH17 crashed near eastern Ukraine on July 17. Reports said the U.S. believes the missile has been fired by pro-Russian separatists.
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