FactChecked

Social Media Hacker Warning circulating in Sri Lanka. Rating ‘False’

CLAIM

Accepting a friend request from a stranger will provide hackers with access to your computer and online accounts.

RATING

FactCheck False
ORIGIN

“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept friendship request from james wood . He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.

Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them”

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“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.

Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them”

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“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them”

 

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The examples reproduced above are multiple variants of a long-running hoax, one which warns readers not to allow contact from a particular person or group because dire consequences will result. The basic form of these hoax warnings is typically drawn from the following template:

  • Do not {read / open / respond to / join}
  • an {e-mail / text message / friend request / }
  • sent by {real name / e-mail address / screen name}!
  • If you do, {you / your computer / your Facebook account / everyone on your contact list / your children}
  • will be in danger of falling victim to a {serial killer / computer virus / hacker / predator}.

Variants of these messages are circulated endlessly, with different names swapped in and out as various pranksters decide to play jokes on people they know by inserting their acquaintances’ names and addresses into the warning in place of the existing information.

The most common variant of this hoax is one that warns the reader not to accept Facebook friend requests from “hackers” purportedly named “Christopher Davies” and “Jessica Davies,” otherwise one of the two will wreak some unspecified havoc by being able to “FIGURE OUT UR COMPUTER’S ID AND ADDRESS.” (The latest version also incorporates a hoax warning about the non-existent “Dance of the Pope” cell phone virus.)

Of course, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that an e-mail message or a link posted on Facebook might carry a virus payload which could infect your computer and allow it be controlled by a botnet, but virus warnings that correspond to the patterns detailed above can be safely dismissed as japes.

Source: http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/hackermail.asp



Categories: FactChecked, False

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