Fake news story says Vin Diesel is moving to Saskatoon
Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber also used in this type of hoax
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are not moving to Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Matthew McConaughey is not relocating to Mulvane, Kansas, and, unfortunately for Saskatchewan fans of Vin Diesel, the Fast and Furious star is not putting down roots in Saskatoon.
That's according to snopes.com, a website dedicated to debunking rumours that are shared on the internet.
Recently, a story popped up on many people's Facebook feeds that resembled a news article. It had the headline "Vin Diesel explains why he's moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan" and goes on to say that Diesel was tired of the L.A. lifestyle and would rather live in a place with real, genuine people.
Kim LaCapria, a journalist with snopes.com, says this type of hoax is common on the internet.
"For each one, they vary a little bit, but they have the same template with different names and places plugged in," said LaCapria.
She says they often target smaller communities in the United States. Usually the story has a thread where the celebrity stops by a place and falls in love with the community.
Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber have also been included in the rumoured celebs who wanted to make the move to a smaller city.
LaCapria says part of the reason these stories get shared is because scammers will use fake call numbers to make the article look like it came from a news station. She speculates people create these stories to drive web traffic.
If you see a story like this and want to share it, LaCapria suggests googling the headline first. It might come up on snopes.com or you might notice that there is only one news source reporting it.
"If nobody else is reporting on it except one website you've never heard of, that's a really good way to say this is not on the up and up," said LaCapria.