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Hugh Hefner Death Hoax

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Report being shared via social media claims that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has passed away aged 88.

Brief Analysis

The claims in the report are untrue. Hugh Hefner is not dead. The bogus report comes from a fraudulent website that uses the URL '' to imply that it is connected to the genuine NBC news outlet (or The fake report is designed to trick people into sharing the information so that the bogus site will receive more visitors.


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BREAKING: Playboy Tycoon Hugh Hefner Passes Away at Age of 88

Hugh Hefner, Founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, was found dead of natural causes Sunday morning at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles police officer Jimmy N. Gardner. He was 88.

Detailed Analysis

'News' Report Claims Hugh Hefner Has Died

According to a report that is being circulated far and wide via Twitter and Facebook, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has passed away.

The story claims that 88 year old Hefner was found dead of natural causes at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

Supposedly, police found the body after responding to a call but found no evidence of foul play.

Story is Fake - Hugh Hefner is Not Dead

However, the claims in the report are untrue. Hugh Hefner is not dead. Hefner posted to his official Twitter feed AFTER his alleged demise. And, there are no reports of his death on any legitimate news sites.

The false report comes from a bogus 'news' website with the URL ''. The report is presented as a breaking news story. However, despite the URL, the fake report has no connection to news outlet NBC (or

The bogus site is designed to trick people into sharing its false report so that the site will receive more traffic.

Just One in A Series of Similar Celebrity Death Hoaxes

The same false celebrity death tactic has been used several times in recent months. Axl Rose, Macaulay Culkin, Judd Nelson and several others have all 'died' via similar bogus news reports.

As in this version, the reports come via fake sites that attempt to palm themselves off as legitimate news outlets.

Celebrity death hoaxes and scams are very common. In fact, Hefner has been targeted in other death hoax messages in the past.

Be wary of any social media message or email that claims that a celebrity has died. Before clicking or sharing, always verify the death claims via a legitimate news source.

Last updated: December 30, 2014
First published: December 30, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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