‘Breaking news’ post circulating via social media claims that popular US actor Nicolas Cage has died in a motorcycle accident.
The claims in the report are untrue. Nicolas Cage is not dead and he has not been involved in a motorcycle accident. The report is a scam that tries to trick visitors into paying fees for rogue antivirus scanners or divulging their personal information on spammy gaming, dating, or get-rich-quick websites.
CELEBRITY BREAKING NEWS! Nicholas Cage passed away because of a serious Motorcycle Accident
FAREWELL GHOST RIDER! You will be surely be missed! 🙁 🙁
According to a post that is being shared via social media, popular US actor Nicolas Cage has been tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. The ‘breaking news’ post, which purports to be from CNN, features an image of a highway motorcycle accident along with an insert depicting the actor’s face.
However, the claims in the post are untrue. Nicolas Cage is not dead and he has not been involved in a motorcycle accident. And, the post is certainly not from CNN. The photograph in the post is stolen from news reports about a fatal motorcycle accident that occurred in the San Diego area back in 2011. The accident depicted is in no way associated with Nicolas Cage. The message text even misspells Cage’s name, referring to him as ‘Nicholas’ rather than ‘Nicolas’.
If you click on the post in the hope of reading more information about the actor’s sad demise, you will be taken to a decidedly dodgy website.
The site throws up multiple popup windows claiming that your computer is infected with viruses and advising you to click a button to deal with the alleged infections. If you do click, a ‘scan’ will run and then present you with a list of viruses that it supposedly found on your computer. It will then claim that you must pay a fee to download software to remove the viruses. However, in reality, the scan is fake and it did not really find any viruses. Such rogue antivirus schemes are designed to trick people into paying fees for utterly useless software.
Other links on the fake-news website, including the ‘play’ button on a fake ‘Nicolas Cage RIP’ video, open various spammy websites. In some cases, the links lead to dodgy schemes that promise to quickly make you rich if you sign up for their services. Others attempt to get you to provide your personal information so that you can play salacious online games. Still others open adult dating websites.
Celebrity death scam websites like the one described here are increasingly common. Be wary of any social media post that claims that a famous person has died unless the post comes from a trusted source. It is wise to independently verify the information via legitimate news sources before clicking on such messages. A quick search on Google News or another news portal should reveal if the celebrity death claims are true.
Last updated: July 25, 2016
First published: July 25, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen