‘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
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!