by Constantine von Hoffman

Cybercrooks Using Steve Jobs’ Death as a Lure for Online Scams

Oct 06, 20113 mins

Within hours of the news breaking, ghouls were using Jobs' name to lure people to bogus online sites

Within hours of the news Steve Jobs had died thieves were using his name to lure people to bogus online sites.  On Facebook and elsewhere, scammers have already set up traps for the unwary.

Stealing search engine traffic is possibly the most benign of these. Google “Steve Jobs Funeral” and there’s a scam site on the first page of results. A site called purports to have “Official News Report on the Death of Steve Jobs.” If you visit the site (don’t!) it at first appears to be legit. There’s a long bio of Jobs and links to videos.  Try and leave the site and you get a pop-up saying, “BUY AN APPLE PRODUCT IN MEMORY OF STEVE JOBS AND GET FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS!”


This is just wrong.

It also tries to get e-mail addresses for an alleged 1-in-15 chance to win a Macbook.  It also has affiliate advertising info so the site’s owners can get money for purchases made though the link. If I was MacMall I’d want to put a stop to that. The F-Secure blog reports the site was already registered on Sept. 20 – which just shows that these asses are forward thinking.

A similar scam is being run on Facebook where an R.I.P. Steve Jobs page says, “In memory of Steve, a company is giving out 50 iPads.” There is then a link which takes you to a site where you have to fill in innumerable surveys in order to “qualify for the chance to win.” The Naked Security blog reports more than 15,000 people had clicked on the link which went up right after the news broke. The writer also says he contacted friends at to have the link shut down.  Thank you!

These types of scams happen around most major new events – like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. As we see with the Steve Jobs Funeral site they not only ensnare people but companies as well. Anyone who goes to the site may think MacMall actually has something to do with it. What steps can you take to protect your company from this sort of damage?

(A personal aside: While I am astounded at what Jobs’ did at Apple, I am most grateful for what he did with Pixar. Go here if you want to find out more. There’s no chance to win an iPad or MacBook.)