Spammers take advantage of Robin Williams tragedy

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By now, we’ve seen plenty of tributes to Robin Williams, who passed away last week. No doubt there are still plenty of unanswered questions as to his sudden passing and why he made the decisions he did.

While people are trying to find answers, spammers have found a way to take advantage of the situation. Our research team has identified two versions of spam linked to an “Exclusive Video: Robin Williams Says Goodbye With His Cell Phone Before His Death” video traveling via email and Facebook.

When a Facebook user attempts to play the video, he is asked to click on the “share to watch” button. This is to verify ownership of the Facebook account before the video will actually play.

When a user clicks on a link received via email, he is redirected to a site that looks like a YouTube page. There he is asked to to take a survey to confirm his age. This is where spammers are looking to take as much information as possible from the victim and his computer.

For now, this campaign which is spreading virally on Facebook is seeking to get clicks via survey to obtain user data, however it could turn into a much bigger problem.

With large media coverage around the death of Robin Williams, it's not surprising that spammers are seizing this opportunity to leverage current events to reach more eyeballs.

After recognizing this spam campaign, Barracuda immediately added this threat to our database to ensure that our customers do not fall victim to this scam.

Barracuda offers a risk-free, 30-day trial of our email and web security solutions. Find out more on our website at

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