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Fake celebrity gets groupies, security escort at Va. mall (VIDEO)

Wednesday - 4/11/2012, 10:45am  ET

ThomasElliot.jpg
OMG! It's Thomas Elliot! ...wait, who? (Photo courtesy YouTube)

WASHINGTON - "He's, uh, in 'The Hunger Games.'"

"Is he? Ok."

Apparently it's that easy to convince someone you're famous.

This was just one of the tactics employed by a team of pranksters who struck a the MacArthur Center mall in Norfolk, Va. in late March. The group managed to convince almost everyone -- including the mall security, it seems -- that renowned heartthrob Thomas Elliot was in their midst. They posted a video of everyone seemingly buying into the hoax.

Don't bother hitting up Wikipedia. He isn't a famous actor, at least not yet.

Richmond-based Chill Hill Media conducted their experiment by planting groupies around one actor to see if they could make others believe their would-be star was an actual celebrity. Their ruse proved convincing enough to garner some followers, including a posse of mall security guards who closed off a store so "Mr. Elliot" could shop in peace, between posing for pictures with babies.

Some seem to have bought it:

While others were unconvinced:

The resulting video "is just a taste of all the autographs, pictures, and people who wanted [to] get close to all the commotion," according to its YouTube page. The producers end with one piece of advice: "Do something fun today."

He seems to have already gained a following. As one commenter on the YouTube page says, "The funny thing is, NOW he IS a (minor) celebrity!" Check out more of that sentiment and the video here:

WTOP's Paul D. Shinkman contributed to this report. Follow Paul and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)