“Kanye West Died” Rumor Used as a Scareware Tactic

    October 22, 2009
    Chris Crum

A lot of people have been searching for queries like "kanye west died," "kanye west car accident," "kanye dead," etc. Obviously, this is an indication of a widespread rumor that Kanye West did in fact die (which he didn’t). It appears that the rumor was used to perpetuate a "scareware" tactic.

John Leyden with the Register reports, "Bogus reports, claiming West met his maker in a crash involving two luxury cars in Los Angeles, subsequently appeared in email as well as appearing on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These reports didn’t themselves point to malware-infested sites but made the topic of West’s supposed demise a trending topic on Twitter and elsewhere."

"RIP Kanye West" is still a trending topic as I write this, in fact. Queries such as those mentioned at the beginning of this article make up a number of the top 40 on Google’s Hot Trends in the US.

Kanye West Dead Trends

Kanye was likely considered to be an ideal mark for this kind of scam, considering the controversial nature of his persona. He is often in the media and often in the search trends. The recent string of celebrity deaths also likely contributed to this rumor being singled out by scareware pushers.

WebProNews has more on how cybercriminals use fear tactics to push rogue security software here.