News Column

Scammers Try To Cash In On Steve Jobs Death

Oct. 7, 2011

Online scammers are attempting to cash in on the death of Steve Jobs by offering fans pictures from his funeral, free iPads in his memory and links to purported memorial sites that actually contain malware.

One scam on Facebook purported to offer free iPads in memory of Jobs, and was posted just two hours after the Apple legend died on Wednesday, according to web security firm Sophos.

The company said at least 25,000 people from 100 countries had already clicked on the link, which took them to a survey site that they had to fill out in order to qualify for the non-existent prizes.

"Sickeningly, as with the deaths of other figures in the public eye, there are scammers waiting to take advantage of bad news," Graham Cluley, senior security consultant at Sophos, wrote on his blog.

Cluley warned users to expect more scams in the coming days, as cyber-criminals use social networking techniques to attract users onto pages where they can be duped into survey scams or may be subject to malware attacks.

"It wouldn't be a surprise" if there are scams trying to take advantage of people who want to make a tribute to Jobs and "donate to Steve's favourite charities," Cluley said.

Jobs' death sparked an incredible surge of comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, with Twitter alone generating some 2.5 million mourning tweets since Jobs' death.

Other scams include one that offers users exclusive photos from Jobs' funeral, and online ads enticing people to visit websites for a chance to win free MacBook Pros in memory of the late Apple leader.

No details of Jobs' funeral have yet been announced, but one group has already announced its intention to attend. The Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for protesting against gay rights at the funerals of US service people killed in combat, issued a statement that it will protest outside Jobs' funeral.

"Westboro will picket his funeral. He had a huge platform; gave God no glory and taught sin," the group tweeted. "No peace for man who served self, not God. Westboro must picket."

Ironically the group communicated its intentions over one of Jobs' greatest inventions: an iPhone.

Source: Copyright 2011 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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