A fake news article making the rounds on Facebook has left fans worried — after falsely claiming that Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith died in a car crash after colliding with a truck.
The famous father and son duo are no strangers to death hoaxes as they have both been individually targeted before.
The latest hoax story redirects Facebook users to a website that uses the CNN logo to try and aid its appearance as a legitimate news source.
The article, headlined “BREAKING: Will Smith and his Son Jaden Smith Died in a Crash after Truck and their Car Collided”, has received hundreds of shares and has been viewed thousands of times on the social media giant.
Will Smith and Jaden are alive and well, but have not yet responded to the rumor claiming that they died.
Twitter reacted to the hoax with most users remaining unconvinced — although many were unsure whether the story was true or not.
Why are they saying Will smith and his son are dead? Please tell me this shit is fake
— Arѕтazιa🥀✨ (@Tweetysaidthat) December 7, 2019
these people made a fake article saying will smith and jaden were dead 🤦🏾♀️ I hate fb bruh
— lexis🥶 (@IAint_Shxt) December 7, 2019
so is jaden & will smith really dead?
— hu$$le. (@funsize_dari) December 7, 2019
Facebook pissin me off sharin that fake ass Will Smith and Jaden Smith dead. Damn they believe every damn thing bro
— 🤑♉️Tre_Bandss💸☃ (@Tre_Bayy_) December 7, 2019
The hoax article includes an edited video of CNN anchor Poppy Harlow stating “I am very sad to report…” the video then pauses and prompts a request for a Facebook username and password to complete the fake video.
This is a phishing attempt to steal Facebook user information. Scams like this often see Facebook users give their log-in information to the website, and may be subsequently forced to share the fake news on their timeline.
Searches on the official CNN website for “Will Smith dead” or “Jaden Smith death” do not yield any results.
Will Smith, who has over 40 million fans on Facebook recently posted a promo for his animated spy comedy Spies in Disguise.
Jaden Smith is currently on tour and will be performing with his sister Willow at the House of Blues in Las Vegas this Sunday.
The website hosting the fake news does not appear in Google search results, and Facebook had not removed the link or warned unsuspecting users that it was fake news at the time of writing this report.