by Stephanie Boyd
The phenomenon of the celebrity ‘death rumor’ is something which has been circulating more and more in recent years – this is largely thanks to the rise of ‘fake news’, and the sheer scope of the internet as a whole. With more and more platforms – such as One News Page – working hard to offer readers and browsers verified news and sources on breaking events, it will hopefully become clearer and clearer as the years go by as to what is simply rumor and what is actually real, genuine news. One such example with a nasty twist has appeared again this week – in the case of British actor Rowan Atkinson, whose death has been rumored since 2016 online.
At the time of writing – Atkinson is very much alive – and we, and other trusted news sources, will let you know with all certainty as and when he has passed away. Atkinson, known as Mr Bean, Johnny English and Blackadder to millions of people around the world, appears to be the focus of a sinister online scam at present – which announces the actor’s ‘death’ to readers of social media sites and presents them with a ‘video’. Clicking on said ‘video’ will lead you to a page suggesting that a ‘security error’ has taken place. If you’re with us so far – there is absolutely no security error whatsoever – it’s all a hoax!
You will then be asked to call a customer service number to ‘unblock’ your device – a technique used by scammers to influence unwitting people into offering personal details including their names, their addresses, and even their financial information – it is a devious scam that is, while nothing new, ever-evolving in slight ways. This hoax also appears in the form of a ‘competition’ or a ‘prize’ that you have won – once again, absolutely, figuratively, in every way shape and form – stay away from such claims!
Rumors regarding several celebrity deaths have circulated over the years thanks to the internet – and the way in which rumor and information is shared freely – but unless you see a number of verifiable sources claiming the same to be true, it’s very likely a fake, or an attempt you convince you into parting with sensitive data. As Mark Twain was famously misquoted, the report of Atkinson’s death was an exaggeration – keep away and don’t click!