Many people around the world have been tricked into believing that Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) has passed away. Luckily, this is fake news but not only is it fake, it also could give your PC a virus.
The fake post claims that Atkinson died in a car accident whilst attempting a stunt. The post looks like it comes from Fox News and features a photograph of Atkinson saying “R.I.P. 1955-2017”. The photo also has a superimposed play button over the picture which suggests that the post, however, there is no video attached and Fox News is not the source of the post.
Clicking on the link attached to the post redirects the user to fake security error pages that claim your computer has been locked, it then asks you to phone a support number, as discovered by website Hoax Slayer. The scammers at the other end of the support number try to get your credit card details to "cover the cost of repairs". The scammer will also try to trick you into downloading software to "protect your computer".
The same article made headlines in 2017 claiming that Atkinson had suffered the same fate and this is just one of many scams that claim celebrities have died. Jeff Goldblum fell victim to a similar scam in 2009 claiming that he had fallen off a cliff in New Zealand. He recalled the effect that the scam had on his friends and family saying, “Before we got the word out and I could call everybody, yes, my mom. She called and was like, ‘Jeffrey, are you alright? Are you alright?’ ”He continued, “And then a friend of mine [who] very tearfully and hysterically left a message.”
It just goes to show how toxic fake news has become!