Adam Ant is NOT dead - despite what you may have read on the net

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Malware, Social networks, Twitter

Adam AntMessages have spread rapidly across Twitter and Facebook in the last few hours, claiming that the 1980s British popstar Adam Ant has died.

According to the messages, the musician - who had hits with songs such as "Prince Charming" and "Stand and Deliver" - died from injuries he sustained in a jet ski accident on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Although some users are just tweeting their respects at the "news" of Adam Ant's death, others are posting a link to what appears to be an online news report about the musician's death.

Mourners on Facebook and Twitter

It's a very sad story. Or at least, it would be if it was true.

Here's what you see if you follow the link.

Bogus news story about Adam Ant

Do you notice the "adam.ant" in the url? I wonder what happens if I change that to include my own name.

Bogus news story about Graham Cluley

Well fancy that - I'm a dead musician!

Some small print, included at the bottom of the webpage in a tiny font gives the game away for anyone who hasn't realised that the report is utterly bogus:

FAKE... THIS STORY IS 100% FAKE! this is an entertainment website, and this is a totally fake article based on zero truth and is a complete work of fiction for entertainment purposes! this story was dynamically generated using a generic 'template' and is not factual.

Of course, the sheer number of people tweeting out the link won't have done any harm at all for the website - which presumably is earning revenue from the adverts plastered on its fictional news report.

Always think carefully before believing breaking news that someone has shared with you on the net. If a major news outlet has not confirmed it to be true, it's possible that you could be falling for a confidence trick.

Just imagine the harm that could occur if there was malware lying in wait at the end of that salacious news story link?

No doubt this won't be the last time that a rumour spreads quickly across the internet that a celebrity has died. Remember when Christian Slater was killed in a snowboarding accident? Or Tom Cruise fell to his death off a cliff in New Zealand? Or Johnny Depp came to a sticky end in a car crash?

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One Response to Adam Ant is NOT dead - despite what you may have read on the net

  1. amkaplan · 832 days ago

    Did you hit "send" before you finished the article? It would have been a far better piece if you had not only suggested verifying messages, but had also included links to verification sites such as snopes.com, hoaxbusters.org, and/or hoax-slayer.com. If people are too naive or lazy to check out veracity of a message, they'll never bother finding one of these sites on their own.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.