Messages currently appearing on Facebook are claiming that US actor Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith have died in a car crash.
According to the posts, which purport to be from CNN, the father and son were killed in an “ultimate car and truck collision”. The posts feature a photograph of Will and Jaden along with an inset of the supposed crash scene, the CNN logo, and the words “R.I.P Will and Jaden Smith”.
The fake death posts are designed to trick you into visiting a scam website.
Screenshots of the fake death posts:
If you click on the posts, you will be taken to a website that masquerades as a news site and includes the CNN News logo. Once on the site, you can supposedly watch a news video with more information about the car crash:
However, if you click “play” on the video, the following notice is displayed:
Clicking the “Uncover Now” link opens a Facebook share window that prompts you to post on your Facebook News Feed.
Sharing helps the scammers spread their fake messages across Facebook and get them many more site visitors.
The bogus site includes pornographic images and other content designed to encourage visitors to click through to malicious websites that ask them to provide their personal information or purchase decidedly dodgy “health” products.
Verify Celebrity Death Claims Before Clicking
Many celebrities are regularly targetted via death hoaxes and scams. Always verify any message claiming that a celebrity has died via a reputable news outlet before clicking or sharing.
If a famous person does die, then the story will always be extensively covered by news outlets around the world. So a quick search of a news aggregator such as Google News will usually reveal if a circulating celebrity death message is true.