Spoof hacker message circulating on Facebook

I received the following message from a friend on Facebook earlier:

"Not sure this is true but.....If somebody called bum_tnoo7@hotmail.com adds you DON'T accept it because it's a hacker. Tell everyone on your list because if somebody on your list adds them you get them on your list he'll figure out your ID computer address, so copy and paste this message to every one even if you hate them and fast - cause if he hacks their mail, he hacks yours."

The message isn't plausible and it's intent is likely to be simply to waste the time of everyone that receives it. The quoted email address is referred to on the BIG LIST of Internet Hoaxes too.

A good way to identify hoax messages is by looking out for phrases like <something terrible's going to happen> and "Tell everyone"...

If in doubt type some of the message into your favorite search engine and see what you get back though watch out for the numerous messages posted by those who've fallen for it.

Comments (3)
  1. James ONeill says:

    Steve, should people tell everyone they know about these hoaxes ?

    If someone sends you {this} then {take this action} – tell all your friends.

    That would make it a meta-hoax wouldn’t it.

  2. AdamV says:

    “it’s intent is likely to be simply to waste the time of everyone that receives it”

    Of course, these days Spam is a huge commercial enterprise, and botnets are used to dDoS businesses (such as anti-spam organisations and online gambling sites).

    These sorts of email hoaxes have a hidden ‘evil’ which is to encourage people to email everyone in their address book. This ensures that if any one of those people has a malware infection which searches for email addresses, all of these unsuspecting recipients will now be added to the spammers’ lists.

    I agree that the key phrases are “this is very bad/dangerous/important” and “please forward as far and wide as possible NOW”.

    I have seen one hoax about women being targetted by car theives “recently / last weekend” in a shopping centre car park. Variations referred to places hundreds of miles apart, and a hoax-list site showed further versions from other places, including a translation in Portugese.

    Now, if I received such an email and believed it and forwarded it in good faith, what reason would I have to change the place where these crimes are supposedly taking place? I might send it as a general “look out for this sort of thing near you” but to specifically say this has happened in place Y would be purely made up. I can’t see any normal person doing this in good faith. I am convinced these scaremongering rumours are started by people who have an interest in email address harvesting.

    Just about the only ‘hoax’ I would consider harmless is the so-called ‘Irish virus’:

    “Sorry, but our programming skills are not up to much so if you could please delete all the critical system files and data off your machine and then forwad this email to everyone in your address book, that would be grand. Thanks”

  3. AdamV says:

    James, surely a meta-hoax would be a hoax about a hoax, so only if I warned you to tell everyone about a hoax in order to avoid being caught out, and that hoax did not really exist?

    ‘There’s a hoax going round with the subject “Ceci n’est pas un hoax” – tell everyone you know not to open it otherwise they will be infected with the surrealism virus’

    Is this comment just a meta-nitpick?

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