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.
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!