Widely shared stories about celebrities experiencing car trouble and being helped out by local residents are false.
Several stories in recent weeks mention actors including Bill Murray, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell having broken-down cars and getting aid from good Samaritans in small and medium-sized towns across the country. The nearly identical stories vary in only the name of the celebrity, the town and a local restaurant.
The stories appear on websites made up to look like local news outlets, including 16wmpo.com and newsdaily12.com. All the sites include a disclaimer that the articles on them are not real.
They recap a supposed interview with an unidentified radio outlet in which the actor praises residents for helping him in of one of the towns. In each story, the residents help secure a tow truck and take him out for lunch.
The events depicted in the stories haven’t been reported elsewhere, including by local media in the towns where they reportedly took place.
Some of the towns named in the stories include Rochester, New Hampshire; Pflugerville, Texas; and State College, Pennsylvania.
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