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Hoax Alert

Fake News: In-N-Out NOT Coming To Chicago 2020

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:17:52 Z)

Is In-N-Out Burger coming to Chicago in 2020? No, that's not true: a prankster fooled thousands of people by uploading a fake news headline with that claim to a prank website that uses a domain name similar to CBS News in order to confuse people but the story is not real.

The story originated from an article published on cbsnews.us (not cbsnews.com) on September 17, 2018 titled "In-N-Out Coming To Chicago 2020" (archived here) which opened:

The Califonia favorite restaurant is making its way over to the Midwest. Chicago will be the first location outside CA, TX, AZ & NV..

Screenshot of https://cbsnews.us/2018/09/17/In-N-Out-Coming-To-Chicago-2020/0SW4tTi1PdXQgQ29taW5nIFRvIENoaWNhZ28gMjAyMA==.VGhlIENhbGlmb25pYSBmYXZvcml0ZSByZXN0YXVyYW50IGlzIG1ha2luZyBpdHMgd2F5IG92ZXIgdG8gdGhlIE1pZHdlc3QuIENoaWNhZ28gd2lsbCBiZSB0aGUgZmlyc3QgbG9jYXRpb24gb3V0c2lkZSBDQSwgVFgsIEFaICYgTlYuLg==.aHR0cHM6Ly9mYXJtNC5zdGF0aWNmbGlja3IuY29tLzMwMTAvMjM2MTUzODE5M185YWFjYTU2ODcyX3ouanBn

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so they may have believed it was from a legitimate news source:

In-N-Out Coming To Chicago 2020

The Califonia favorite restaurant is making its way over to the Midwest. Chicago will be the first location outside CA, TX, AZ & NV..

However In-N-Out Burger's corporate website has a location finder that includes an "Opening Soon" section, and none of the restaurants listed there were in or even near Chicago. If you live in the Windy City it would seem the nearest In-N-Out is in Allen, TX, a trip of about 900 miles. Still, if you crave a delicious burger...

Restaurant Locations - In-N-Out Burger

Find your closest In-N-Out Burger restaurant where you'll get the highest quality burgers, fries and drinks prepared the same way since 1948

The site that published the hoax is part of a network of prank websites centered around thefakenewsgenerator.com that allow anyone to create a realistic looking fake news article. The network offers a selection of misleading domain names that can be used to make it look like an article came from real news websites such as CBS News, Associated Press or The New York Times. Each hoax article comes with following disclaimer at the top of the page:

You clicked this fake news story. Now make your own!

We wrote about cbsnews.us before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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
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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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