Circulating reports claim that Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, has committed suicide.
The reports are untrue. Jaden Smith is not dead. The reports are callous and nasty scams designed to trick people into participating in survey scams and installing rogue antivirus scanners, dodgy Facebook apps, and browser plugins. If this false report comes your way do not click it.
According to various posts that are currently circulating via social media, actor and rapper Jaden Smith, son of the actor Will Smith, has committed suicide. Details, such as the manner of the supposed suicide, vary in different versions of the posts. But, all of the posts link to websites that feature “news” reports about the young star’s supposed demise.
Thankfully, however, the claims in the reports are untrue. Jaden Smith is not dead nor has he attempted suicide. There are no credible media reports that support the suicide claims and Jaden has been active on social media since the death stories began circulating.
The posts and the linked reports are just nasty scams designed to trick fans of the young star into visiting spammy websites and downloading malware.
If you click on one of the circulating posts, you will be taken to a fake-news report that discusses the supposed death and includes videos and other links apparently related to the story. However, if you try to play the “video”, which is fake, a full-screen “virus warning” page will fill your browser window. The warning will claim that your computer is infected with a virus and you should click a link to download software to fix the problem. If you do download the software, a fake antivirus scan will run and then issue a report claiming that your computer is riddled with viruses. It will then claim that you must pay a fee to allow the scanner to remove the viruses and repair your computer. But, in fact, the scanner is fake, and it did not really find any viruses. It is just a ruse designed to trick people into paying money for utterly useless software.
Other links on the fake-news stories open dodgy “survey” and “offer” websites that promise prizes in exchange for providing your personal information. If you do provide your information, you will soon be inundated with unwanted emails, phone calls, text messages, and letters peddling a variety of products and services. In some cases, you may be tricked into subscribing to a very expensive SMS “club” that will charge you several dollars for every inane and useless message they send you.
Still other links may try to trick you into installing rogue Facebook apps that will spam your friends. Or, they may entice you to install bogus browser plugins or video player “updates” that can hijack your browser, show malicious advertisements, and automatically redirect you to scam websites.
If one of these bogus Jaden Smith death messages comes your way, do not click on it.
Fake-news reports that claim that a celebrity has committed suicide are especially reprehensible and the people who perpetrate them are beneath contempt. Mental health experts have found an increase in suicide rates after media reports about celebrity suicides. Thus, a heinous scam like this one could have deadly consequences.
Celebrity death hoaxes and scams are very common. It is thus a good idea to verify any celebrity death messages that come you way via social media before you share them. Searching a news portal such as Google News should quickly reveal if a circulating story about the death of a famous person is true.
Last updated: August 10, 2016
First published: August 10, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen