Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk, is not dead today, not killed in a “multi-vehicle crash between Santa Barbara and Goleta,” or by any other means. The 62-year-old former bodybuilder did, however, become the subject of the latest annoying internet death hoax.
How the hoaxsters select their latest subjects for a death hoax is a bit of a mystery. But it seems every Hollywood personality from Leonardo DiCaprio to Jennifer Lopez to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been declared dead by one online death hoax or another in recent months.
Even reality stars are not immune as Pawn Stars character Chumlee was the subject of such a convincing death hoax earlier this year that the hoax even fooled a fellow cast member, albeit briefly. In fact, that was the second death hoax for Chumlee.
So why Lou Ferrigno? Why not?
The Lou Ferrigno death hoax started with a counterfeit news site set up to mimic the look of USA Today, though the URL included an “.es” Spanish domain name. We won’t link to it here because such phony sites are often a means to surreptitiously plant viruses or other malware on visiting computers.
Many death hoaxes originate on the site Media Fetcher, which allows users to enter a celebrity’s name and sit back and watch as the site’s algorithm generates a random hoax for that celeb.
Instead, the Lou Ferrigno death hoax appears to have been created deliberately by an anonymous prankster, who created the ersatz USA Today page, reporting the star of The Incredible Hulk, which ran on CBS for five seasons from 1977 to 1982, was dead from injuries sustained in a California auto accident.
“I’m on my way to the bank. It’s a great Wednesday, beautiful and sunny. I’m not dead. I’m still alive. Don’t believe everything that you hear or what you read,” said Lou Ferrigno on his Facebook page. “Just want to say I love you so much. Thank you for your concern. Thank you all. I’m going to live a long time, kid!”
So, Lou Ferrigno is alive and well. The reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. But one thing is certain. Lou Ferrigno was far from the first the internet death hoax victim, and he won’t be the last.
[Image Via gal3.piclab.us]