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Hundreds Of Fake Articles About Family Murder Are Spreading In Germany

Each hoax article is exactly the same, except for one important detail.

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Hundreds of fake news articles about a family drama ("familiendrama") are spreading in Germany. The stories all falsely claim that two children were murdered and their father committed suicide. Each version is exactly the same except for one important detail: the location of the crime changes from one story to the next.

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All of the stories are published on a site called Newscenters.today, which only publishes fake news. The site is filled with hundreds of different versions of that same story, just with different locations in the headlines.

Newscenters today

The earliest stories were published in November, and the site continues to add news ones regularly.

Newscenters.today doesn't list any ownership or contact information. But a search revealed that the domain was registered by someone in the country of Georgia.

whois.domaintools.com

A previous investigation by BuzzFeed News found several English-language sites running a similar scam that involved churning our fake articles about terrorist attacks in different cities. Those sites were also owned by people in Georgia.

BuzzFeed News attempt to contact the owner of Newscenters.today but did not receive a reply. Though the domain may have been registered by someone in Georgia, it's impossible to know if the people running the scam are actually located there or elsewhere.

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The scammers also set up fake Facebook profiles and then use them to share their articles. "Sheri Eberhart" is a fake profile created just minutes before the article was posted in the aforementioned Facebook group.

This post was translated from German.

Karsten Schmehl ist Senior Staff Writer bei BuzzFeed und lebt in Berlin.

Contact Karsten Schmehl at karsten.schmehl@buzzfeed.com.

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at jane.lytvynenko@buzzfeed.com.

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