Hoax Computertan Website Delivers Cancer Message To Thousands

A fake website that promises an all-year tanning from the comfort of a computer screen has received more than one million hits in 8 weeks.

Computertan.com started life as a project by Nottingham-based skin cancer charity Skcin and seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of sun beds. The site currently appears to be overwhelmed by visitors

The site, which presents itself as a "revolutionary new online tanning service", encouraged visitors to download an application that would allow their screens to produce ultraviolet rays that would allow them to get a great-looking skin all year round.

Computertan offered not only tanning tips but also the ability to download mobile application. Interested parties were also encouraged to try calibrate their webcams to use the service.

Users who clicked on the "free five-minute tan trial" were greeted with an alert message telling them "Don't be fooled, UV rays can kill" and was followed by illustrations of skin cancers.

Skcin was launched back in memory of Nottingham-based Karen Clifford, who died of skin cancer in 2005. A Skcin spokesperson stated that : "This is an astonishing response and has undoubtedly helped raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer."

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Our Comments

An innovative way to get the message to the general public. Skcin also advertised Computertan on the London Underground which is where we first find it. Guess that choosing not to launch the website on April fool's day was certainly a smart idea.

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