Several cynical Facebook hoaxes involving Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, which went missing March 8, have gone viral but only deliver survey scams, bogus Facebook apps, and possibly malware. Here’s how to deal with them.
One of the scams claims that “Flight MH370 [was] Found in [the] Indian Ocean” but it features a picture from the Lion Airlines crash near Indonesia in 2013, which has nothing to do with the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
Another says that the plane was found in the Bermuda Triangle and that “passengers [are] alive,” which also claims to have a video that doesn’t exist.
However, users who click on these links are redirected to bogus websites designed to look like Facebook that first ask them to share the link before going further. Sharing the link ensures that the scam is spread even more.
“This scam will trick you into ‘liking’, sharing or completing surveys, which it claims you have to do in order to watch the video in the post. But, there is no video, so do not be fooled into completing the surveys, liking or sharing it,” reads a post from security website Online Threat Alerts.
Some variants of the scam could prompt the downloading of a rogue Facebook app or useless software or malware.
The Bermuda Triangle post is also a scam, and it also uses an image of the Lion Air crash.
“The website will ask you to complete surveys and share the same website in order to view the video, but this is a trick to get you to complete the surveys that the cybercriminals behind this scam will get paid for or to spread this scam to your Facebook friends,” says Online Threat Alerts.
If either of these posts appear on your Facebook Timeline or Wall, it’s best to delete them. If you’ve shared them, it’s also recommended to delete it and “unlike” it.
If the posts required that you allow a rogue Facebook app to gain access to your account, there’s a way to get rid of it.
Users should then go below and click the “X” on the right side of the app in order to remove it. Some of the fake scam apps use names like “CNN,” “Fox News,” “Yahoo,” “YouTube,” or legitimate-sounding names to trick users.
More detailed instructions on how to delete the post is located here.