Lufkin PD Continues Investigation into Fake News Report
The Lufkin Police Department is continuing its investigation into a malware scam executed through a fake social media news story claiming three Lufkin officers were killed Sunday in a shootout.
According to a Lufkin PD Press Release, the page, created Sunday afternoon, shared a link – “3 officers killed, 5 wounded in Lufkin shooting”, which triggered an emotional response from citizens who began calling to check on the officers. The link directs users to a website called “All News Universe” that contains malware or spyware that can infect computers and compromise personal information.
“The Department is thick-skinned regarding what is said about us on Facebook, but what we’re upset about is that these scammers used our name to dupe citizens into clicking on the link,” Assistant Chief David Thomas said.
The website server appears to be hosted out of Utah, but is registered to a Tamaz Bekauri of the country Georgia. Detectives are currently working to trace the origin of the Facebook page.
“It could take six to eight weeks to trace the IP address of the Facebook page poster, but Facebook is cooperating with the investigation,” Public Relations Specialist Jessica Pebsworth said. “If you clicked the link from your computer or even your phone, we would suggest that you change your Facebook password to prevent your information from being compromised and run an anti-virus/malware program.”
A news report claiming a similar incident occurred involving San Angelo officers appeared in December 2015.