Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: 'Mr. Bean. (Rowan Atkinson)' Did NOT Die at 62 After Crashing His Car On Attempt Perfecting A Stunt

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 13 Jul 2017 12:58:27 Z)

A scam site posted an article today titled "FOX BREAKING NEWS:'Mr. Bean.(Rowan Atkinson)' died at 62 After Crashing his Car on Attempt perfecting a Stunt -Today July,2017". It seems to be spreading via a Facebook message that looks like this:beandead2.jpg

When people click the message they are shown a video player which pops up a "Security check" after two seconds of watching, which asks viewers to share the post to continue viewing.

securitycheck.jpg

Of course the video is fake, it is an old Youtube clip of a Fox News host eulogizing his colleague Brenda Buttner.

Victims of this hoax don't even get to see the rest of the video. Immediately after sharing the post on Facebook they are redirected to various shady advertising websites.

This seems to be a repeat of an earlier Rowan Atkinson death hoax from March 2017. Back then we posted a detailed technical analysis of how the scam worked. It seems the current attempt is technically quite similar. We've already detected several different URLs that are being spread which all redirect back to the main hoax page at http://owf.amwstvprems.com/#news/31.

  • http://owf.amwstvprems.com/p0030IKEmtC2wYF3il4TNxk7ayRegq5/
  • http://owf.amwstvprems.com/p0030JiOq9pVwbyUP8HRZDK2L4u1/
  • http://owf.amwstvprems.com/p0030FFTjrM2aiQ8zvXksUg5/

We are curious to see if the scammers will be switching domain names every few hours like they did last time. The main page at owf.amwstvprems.com only has this cryptic message on it:

awan pap..

Google Translate was unable to tell us anything about the meaning of this. The site does share an IP address (68.66.197.78) with http://ofwtv.mswstvs.com, which does seem to have a similar scam going at http://ofwtv.mswstvs.com/#news/26 with a video titled "PAALAM 'BOSSING'VIC-Sotto 1954-2017. Salamat Marami kang Napaligayang Pilipino. Mahal ka Namin Bossing | Today July,2017" that Google translate says is Filipino and means "EVER 'BOSSING'VIC-SOTTO 1954-2017. Thank You Many Filipinos. We Love You Bossing | Today July, 2017".

We'll be using our Trendolizer tool to keep an eye on the spread of this hoax, check the graph at the end of this article to see how just one copy of it is being spread. If you notice anyone spreading the rumor around you can help by pointing them to this article here because nobody likes fake news.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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