Naugatuck police warn public of ‘fake news’ story linked to a computer virus

NAUGATUCK —  Police said they have received countless calls from citizens, news outlets and other officers regarding a fake news story.

On May 3, Naugatuck Police Department took to their Facebook account to address a website called “usanews1.club” that posted a headline “Mother killed three children in Naugatuck.”

Lt. Bryan Cammarata of Naugatuck police warns the public that the story is not only fake, but also, the website is linked to a computer virus.

“This “fake News” story is apparently linked to a computer virus as some people have advised that when they clicked onto the news feed it leads them briefly to a gruesome but fabricated murder tale, that then turns to a dialog box that informs you that your computer / smartphone / tablet, Etc, has a virus and that for a small fee, the same swindlers that brought you to the story will fix it up for you,” said Lt. Cammarata.

Ben Bogardus, assistant professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University, said, “Fake news like the, ‘Naugatuck Murders,’ web story is harmful, because of the speed at which it can spread. In the pre-social media era, stories like this could only be spread slowly, in person-to-person conversations. But now, all it takes is to click on a ‘share’ button to let hundreds of friends see it all at once.

Bogardus added, “Those friends then share it with their friends, quickly making the fake stories go viral in small communities.  Unfortunately, once the fake stories start to spread, it’s nearly impossible to pull them back, especially when the headlines are so shocking and tempting to read about.”

Police ask that you not fall for the “fake news” and assured the public that no such murder has occurred in Naugatuck.