"Robin Williams Says Goodbye with his iPhone Video Before Suicide," says one of the headlines in many Facebook users' news feed. Many curious users clicked on the link, but stopped when the page asked them to "Share" first. A website has confirmed this bait as a scam that "exploits celebrity suicide."
"Of course, you might be fooled into believing it is genuine. After all, you have seen one of your Facebook friends share it on their wall," reports welivesecurity.com.
The scam draws in internet users to take a survey, the report clarified. Typical news sites do not ask users to share before they are able to read or watch anything. However, since many people are shocked to find out that Robin Williams died in an apparent suicide, the "goodbye video" has enticed many users to click and check.
Through this scam, users are asked to take a survey before "watching" the video. The survey responses earn for the scammers some affiliate revenue, among others.
"The scammers have no qualms about exploiting the death of a famous actor and comedian to earn their cash, and give no thought whatsoever to the distressed family he must have left behind," the report said, adding that no real Robin Williams goodbye video exists.
Graham Cluley, of We Live Security, wrote the report on the Robin Williams goodbye video hoax. He exposes other scams and shares with his followers some helpful tips on his Google+ page.
Daily Mail, on the other hand, has a real Robin Williams video. But it is not a goodbye message, either. In the short clip, the late actor is being endearing as usual, cheering up a cancer patient from Auckland New Zealand. See the heartwarming video here.
Susan Schneider, wife of Robin Williams, on Thursday issued a statement to international press, saying the beloved actor was sober at the time of his death. He, however, was battling the early stages of Parkinson's disease.
"Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly," Schneider was quoted as saying in a CNN report.
Facebook users and all netizens are advised to ignore the Robin Williams goodbye video hoax.