Image Credit: AFP
While it’s never a good idea to accept friend requests from strangers, the latest viral message is just a hoax.
Viral message warns users not to accept a friend request from someone who is said to be a hacker
Dubai: A new chain message on Facebook has recently gone viral and users are being advised to delete and ignore it because it is a hoax.
The message claims that someone named Jayden K Smith, a dead ringer for Hollywood actor Will Smith’s son, is trying to hack Facebook accounts.
Smith is said to be a hacker and once Facebook users accept a friend request from him, they will lose control of their accounts.
“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,” the message reads.
“If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it.”
Cyber security experts have dismissed the message as nothing but a prank.
According to Snopes, the recent viral message is part of a long-running hoax that tells readers not to allow contact from a particular person or group, otherwise they will face dire consequences.
A hoax warning usually follows a template that goes like this: “Do not (read / open / respond to / join) an email / text message / friend request / ) sent by (real name / e-mail address / screen name).”
“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 address into the warning in place of the existing information.”
While they should not just add strangers to their contact list, Facebook users have been advised that there is no truth to the claim that anyone can just hack into an account by simply becoming a friend.
A hacker needs to have the user’s password in order to take control of an account, or trick a user to click on a link or infected attachment.
This doesn’t mean that all links posted on social media or forwarded to your inbox don’t contain a virus that can compromise your computer or personal data.
“But virus warnings that correspond to the patterns detailed above can be safely dismissed as japes,” Snopes said on its website.