The West

Fraudsters create fake Facebook pages in names of MH17 victims
A girl holding a candle stands in front of a banner during an event to mourn the victims of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A number of fake Facebook pages have been created using the names of Australian victims killed in the MH17 tragedy by so-called "click fraudsters" aiming to profit from a lucrative internet scam.

The pages, some set up using the names of three young Western Australian children killed when the passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine, contain a single link to a website that purports to contain information on the crash.

However, users are instead hit with a series of ads for online gambling and a number of other products and services.

Carly Taylor, a close friend of the family of one of the Australian victims, said grieving families are suffering further trauma due to the accounts.

"We’re a little bit worried we don’t know who’s out there doing it and we’d prefer that they know the truth and people aren't giving to charities or whatever the people are proposing to be," Taylor said.

Toys and flowers are placed on the charred fuselage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Photo: AP.

According to Alastair McGibbon, Director of the University of Canberra's Centre for Internet Safety, this type of "extremely lucrative" click-fraud is now common after major events.

"Crooks are super-fast these days at picking up on anything that's remotely topical, and working out how to monetise it from a criminal point of view," he said.

"It's a really distasteful trend."

"You're really dealing with a base type of person who uses the name of a person recently deceased in a tragedy to monetise.

"But that's why they're criminals and we're not."

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