It's a Scam: '16 People Dead in Roller Coaster Accident' Video

Think Before You Click and Never Give Your Personal Information

16 People Are Confirmed Dead in Roller Coaster Accident Universal Studios
Netlore Archive: Scam postings offer CCTV video footage of a roller coaster accident at Universal Studios in Florida in which 16 people supposedly died.. Via Facebook

A friend posts a link to a shocking and graphic video that shows a horrible roller coaster accident at Universal Studios in Florida. Think before you click. This is an example of a clickjacking scam that will lead to a website that could compromise your account and security.

  • Description: Viral posts
  • Circulating since: March 2014
  • Status: FAKE / SCAM (see details below)

Example #1:
As shared on Facebook, March 8, 2014:

Fox Breaking News - [Shocking Video Footage] - 16 people are confirmed dead in a roller coaster accident that occurred at Universal Studios in Florida. The roller coaster appeared to have suffered a mechanical breakdown causing it to veer off the tracks in mid air plummetting all 24 passangers into the ground. Currently there are 8 listed in critical condition at an Orlando Hospital. CCTV Footage of the accident have been uploaded to the Fox News team but will be restricted to air time and will be only uploaded through the following site due to graphic content. Viewer Discretion is ADVISED. Warning the material presented in this video contains graphic content. Watch footage of the accident here: (URL given)

Example #2:
As shared on Facebook, March 21, 2014:

(Warning: Shocking Video) Fox News Flash : 17 passengers confirmed dead at the scene of one of the deadliest roller coaster accidents in history at Orlando, Florida Universal Studios Theme Park. The roller coaster appears to veer off the tracks mid air plummeting all 25 passengers into the pavement killing 17. There are 8 listed in critical condition at a local Orlando Hospital fighting for their life. Local law enforcement are at the scene investigating the accident. Technicians confirm that the roller coaster has malfunctioned during the ride causing it to veer off the tracks. Footage of the accident was captured through the CCTV system set up around the park and has been uploaded to the Fox News Team but will be restricted to air time due to the graphic material. As an alternative, video footage has been uploaded online and can be seen in the following link provided. Please be advised, this video contains graphic footage of the accident and is not for the faint of heart. Watch at your own risk (URL given)

Analysis of Roller Coaster Accident Video - Scam Attempt at Clickjacking

No such roller coaster accident occurred. No such "shocking video footage" exists. The above post and others like it are bait for a clickjacking scam in which users who click on the links are redirected to pages outside Facebook and tricked into divulging their log-in information (email address and password), enabling scammers to hijack their accounts.

Some versions claim four people died; others claim 17 people died. Some feature a doctored image purporting to be a screen shot of the video footage. The specifics vary, but the scam is always the same.

All social media users should be wary in general of lurid come-ons purporting to link to "shocking videos" or "breaking news" about catastrophic events, celebrity gossip, etc. They're almost always scams. Clicking on them can put the security of your account and computer at risk.

Two of the circulating links went to a domain ending in .pw, which is the country code domain for Palau. That is in itself a clue that this link did not come from Fox News.

Similar examples of clickbaiting videos:

Facebook Advice on Suspicious Links

Here's some good basic advice from

Think before you click. Never click suspicious links, even if they come from a friend or a company you know. This includes links sent on Facebook (ex: in a chat or post) or in emails. If one of your friends clicks on spam they could accidentally send you that spam or tag you in a spammy post. You also shouldn't download things (ex: a .exe file) if you aren’t sure what they are.

Never give out your login info (ex: email address and password). Sometimes people or pages will promise you something (ex: free poker chips) if you share your login info with them. These types of deals are carried out by cybercriminals and violate the Facebook Terms. If you're ever asked to re-enter your password on Facebook (ex: you're making changes to your account settings) check to make sure the address of the page still has in the URL.


Orlando Roller Coaster Hoax on Facebook
Orlando Sentinel, 10 March 2014

Universal Studios Hoax Spreads Over Social Media
Fox 13 News, 10 March 2014