Rolling Out

Brad Pitt death hoax shows increase in malware and clickbait sites

Brad Pitt death hoax (Photo Credit: Facebook/SNOPES)
Brad Pitt death hoax (Photo credit: Facebook/SNOPES)

The first thing many people do in the morning is to check their Facebook feeds for breaking overnight news. One particular story titled “FOX BREAKING NEWS: BRAD PITT found dead (SUICIDE)” is turning out to be another devious hacker attack. The first few lines of the story appear convincing and read:

“Brad Pitt, 52, a multi-awarded American actor and husband of Angelina Jolie, 41, shot himself in the head at a shooting range on Sunday. He was under significant stress because the couple “were going through a divorce and he had a history of depression.”

Clicking on the link to the article will redirect the user to a page that looks like Fox News but is actually a malware app. The app is designed to steal personal information from phones and computers. Facebook suggests changing  passwords and running its malware scanner if users have already clicked the link.

The death hoax first appeared on Sept. 20, 2016, after it was announced that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were getting a divorce. The same site has published other death hoax stories before that included the deaths of Vin Diesel, Nicolas Cage, Jaden Smith, Jim Carrey, Sylvester Stallone and John Cena.

There is a proliferation of clickbait sites that have popped up across social media that has fooled thousands of users and infected computer platforms. Popular subjects have included:

1) Cookie Dough Can Explodes In Woman’s Vagina While She Was Shoplifting
2) Tiffany slave collar at an “African-American history museum in DC”
3) Man arrested having sex with alligator
4) Tupac alive…and living in Cuba
5) Woman’s butt implants explode after doing squats in gym

Readers should stay away from any variations on well-known news brands. Hoax and satire sites include:

Newswatch28 (now Newswatch33)
Cap News (

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