A series of fake news links are sweeping across Facebook that claim a brutal shooting has happened in a specific location across the world. However that location depends on what version of the hoax you see.
The Facebook links are comprised of a graphic including an image of a crime scene with a news banner purporting a brutal shooting has occurred, as well as a headline.
However, when clicking these links, users are told to “unlock” the content which forwards them to various spammy webpages or affiliate offers.
A number of different places, including locales in the United Kingdom and United States, are used in these series of hoaxes. These include Lowestoft, Newtownards, Glasgow, Sheffield, Darlington, Dumfries, Newark, Grimsby, Chesterfield and Hull.
BRUTAL SHOOTING IN GLASGOW – Breaking News
BRUTAL SHOOTING IN LUMBERTON – Breaking News
BRUTAL SHOOTING IN HUDDERSFIELD – Breaking News
BRUTAL SHOOTING IN NEWTOWNARDS – Breaking News
However dozens of other locations has also been used.
In all cases, the links lead to articles that have just been copied and pasted from older news stories written by legitimate media outlets and have nothing to do with ‘brutal shootings’. Before a visitor can read the article, a message appears asserting the visitor must first “unlock” the article.
The link on this message leads to a variety of different websites. These include get-rich-quick websites, links to suspicious browser extensions or affiliate links to online stores (that will pay these spammers for referring customers.)
We recommend not clicking on or interacting with any of these links.