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According to a “breaking news” post that is currently being shared on social media, much-loved actor Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) has died in a car crash while attempting a stunt.
The post, which appears to come from Fox News, features a photograph of Rowan Atkinson along with the caption “R.I.P. 1955-2017”. The post includes a video “play” icon, which implies that clicking a link will play news footage about the supposed death.
However, Rowan Atkinson is not dead and the post does not come from Fox News. Rowan is alive and well and there are no credible reports that suggest that he has been in a car accident.
An example of the scam post:
Post Opens Scam Website
In fact, the post is a scam. If you click on the post, you will be taken to a website that appears to host the video about Mr Bean’s demise.
But, when you attempt to play the video, you will see a message claiming that you must complete a security check and share on Facebook to continue watching.
A Facebook share box will appear in a new browser tab. You will be prompted to share the fake “Breaking News” post on your Timeline.
At the same time, the original page will be automatically redirected to a scam or malware website. The exact destination of this redirect may vary.
In some cases, you will be taken to a fake “Security Error” web page that falsely claims that your computer has been locked because it is infected with viruses. You will be prompted to call a “support number” urgently to seek help with the supposed security issue. However, if you do call as instructed, tech support scammers will try to trick you into giving them your credit card details, ostensibly to pay for the repair of your computer. The scammers may also try to trick you into downloading software that will allow them to take control of your computer, steal your files, and install malware.
In other cases, you may be redirected to a dodgy “survey” website that promises the chance to win prizes in exchange for supplying your name, home address, email address and phone numbers. But, your information will be shared with unscrupulous online marketing companies and “site sponsors”.
In still other cases, you may be redirected to websites that harbour malware, rogue apps, or malicious browser plugins.
Verify Before Clicking on Celebrity Death Posts
Be wary of any celebrity death message that comes your way via social media, SMS, or email. Before clicking or sharing, check the death claim by searching a legitimate news portal such as Google News. If a famous person has died, his or her demise will almost certainly receive widespread coverage in the mainstream news media.
And, if you click on such a death post and the website insists that you must share the information or visit third-party websites before you are allowed to watch a video or access content, close the website immediately.
If you are taken to one of the tech support scam websites, you may find it difficult to close the site and exit your browser. For more information about dealing with this issue, refer to this report: