Justin Bieber's untimely death in a car crash is just a Facebook hoax

Fans of singer Justin Bieber were warned this week against a new variant of an old scam circulating on social networking site Facebook.

Security vendor Sophos said the scam attracts attention by claiming Bieber died in a car crash, and offering "details" of the incident.

"Past bogus death reports have involved the likes of deaths of Adam Ant, Jim Carrey, Christian Slater, Vanilla Ice, Tom Cruise amongst many others," it said.

It also cited a similar scam earlier this year, where a "Global Associated" story that Pet Shop Boys star Neil Tennant also died in a car crash.

Sophos said some websites merely allow anyone to "automagically" generate a fake news story about a death in a car crash.

Simply changing the link changes the name of the victim, it said.

"Before you know it, Internet users are unwittingly forwarding the message without checking their facts, and the tasteless website is earning itself some cash from all of the new traffic seeing its adverts," it said.

Yet, it said careless Facebook users are re-sharing this bogus story of Bieber's death.

This not just keeps the hoax alive but also helps drive traffic "to a website that thinks it is clever to play such sick pranks," it added. — TJD, GMA News