Feedback
Tech

No, Brad Pitt is Not Dead: Scammers Try to Hack Facebook Users With Hoax Story

Brad Pitt is alive but if you clicked on a recent hoax story circulating on Facebook claiming he wasn't, it may have killed your online security.

Hackers are exploiting the Brangelina break-up with a story styled to look like it came from a legitimate news outlet and claiming the actor had killed himself.

thenextweb.com

People who clicked the link were then asked to authorize the malware-ridden app access to their profile before reading the false story, according to The Next Web.

Related: Facebook, Twitter Join Network to Tackle Fake News

After falling for the bait, a hacker would then be able to access your personal information and potentially take over your account. The story was first reported by TMZ.

“We are focused on showing you the stories that are most relevant to you in News Feed. We’re aware that recently a small set of apps posted fake news articles on our platform," a Facebook representative told NBC News. "We have taken action against these apps and stories, and we encourage people who see these types of posts to report the content to us.”

It's unclear how many people actually fell victim to the hoax, but the type of malware is nothing new and something Facebook works to combat on the site and educate users about.

"First and foremost, don't be lured into a scammy sensational link," said Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. "It is essential that consumers simply be smarter than that" he said.

Of course we all can make mistakes with our online security, so if you already clicked the link, Siciliano recommends immediately running an anti-virus scan on your device. McAfee is a popular anti-virus solution for computers, while Lookout offers a free app that can scan mobile devices.

"From there, it is important that you update your browser software to its latest, most secured version and do the same for your operating system as well," he said.

Siciliano also recommends changing your Facebook password and setting up two factor verification, which prompts the user to end a code texted to their phone before logging in from a new computer.

To do this, go to settings and security to set up login approvals.