Teen pop sensation and Rachel Maddow look-alike, Justin Bieber, was not stabbed outside a Los Angeles nightclub, nor was he stabbed outside a nightclub in New York, as two current Facebook spam campaigns allege.
Reports claiming that the 17 year-old Canadian megastar had been stabbed by a crazed fan are merely part of some morbid Facebook scam playing on the young star’s easily excitable following.
As Graham Cluley points out, the reason this scam is particularly potent likely has something to do with Bieber’s ravenous, tween-aged fan-base. Beliebers, hysterical after seeing thumbnail pictures pop-up all over Facebook depicting the once-beautiful back of their beloved J-Bieb ostensibly defiled by knife wounds and desperate for more information, were fast to click through what was obviously a Facebook survey scam.
Of course, if Bieber had actually been stabbed, the major news sources would be all over it.
This scam is another example of what has become a regular occurance: spam campaigns that marry pop culture figures to malicious or merely suspicious Web links. The past year has seen Facebook spam timed for the (actual) deaths of Steve Jobs, Amy WineHouse, Elizabeth Taylor, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Japanese Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster, and so on. Security experts have noted that social networks like Facebook create an environment of implied trust between a user and his or her friends or followers. Scammers use that trust to push malicious wares, advertisements and other online scams.