Well, it seems rather fitting that Rowan Atkinson apparently died in a car crash given his love for cars. In fact, the car fanatic who is known for his roles in Mr. Bean and Johnny English, is still alive and kicking despite a hoax that went viral several times. Hoax Slayer says that the article was actually an attempt to spread a computer virus and had a link which tried to elicit credit card information.
According to People, the article lured readers by stating that Atkinson had died in a car accident when he tried to perform a stunt. Apparently, this article first debuted in July 2017 and also went viral at the time. Fortunately, there is no truth to the article that attempts to click-jack readers into divulging personal information.
Interestingly, Atkinson has crashed his vehicle albeit not fatally. IMDb reports that he crashed his McLaren Formula 1 sports car into the back of a stationary Mini Metro on August 4, 2011. He was hospitalized at the Peterborough City Hospital as he had injured his shoulder in the crash, but reports indicated that the injury was not serious. The supercar was worth more than $1 million while the Mini Metro was valued at approximately $600. Luckily, the accident was not a serious one, and the damage was not severe.
However, this is not the first time that Atkinson has been put to death by a false report. Snopes lists at least two fake viral articles which proclaimed that Atkinson had died. The first went viral in July 2016, while it reared its ugly head in March 2017 again. The articles reported that Mr. Bean had either committed suicide or had died in a traffic accident. Snopes dispels the articles as untrue and warns that they were part of a click-jacking scam intended to lure readers to click on a video.
People state that the current scam works on a similar basis, as scammers try to con fans into giving them access to their credit card information.
“The latest also included a video with a play button that invited people to watch, which leads to a website asking people to share on Facebook and complete a security test, according to the site. But after sharing, the site instead offers a support phone number where scammers were allegedly trying to get the callers’ credit card information.”
As for Atkinson, he stars in Johnny English Strikes Again which will air in October 2018.