A warning is spreading on Facebook that claims adding a user with the name Anwar Jitou will compromise your Facebook account and even if one of your contacts adds him as a friend then you will be hacked.
An example of the warning can be seen below –
Please tell all the contacts in your Messenger list not to accept Anwar Jitou’s contact, it’s a hacker that has the computer 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
A less eligible version of the same warning can be seen below –
Warn your contacts that are in your Messenger list to not accept Anwar Jitou’s contact is someone who hacks the computer into your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked by all your friends.
Popular versions have also spread in Italian and Swedish –
AVVISO IMPORTANTE : Si pregano tutti i contatti fb e Messenger, di non accettare nessun contatto come Anwar Jitou (oppure Anwar Jitu) , poichè segnalato come un hacker ! Grazie,
Vänligen meddela alla kontakter i din Messenger-lista, inte acceptera Anwar Jitous kontakt, det är en hacker som har datorn ansluten till ditt Facebook-konto. Om en av dina kontakter accepterar den kommer du också att hackas, så se till att alla dina vänner vet det. Tack
Online messages that advise against adding or accepting a particular person for he/she is a hacker that will compromise your security are nearly as old as the Internet itself. And without exception they are all hoaxes. This warning above is no different.
Such warnings always fail to pass the “common sense test”. That is to say, even if we overlooked the technical impossibilities stated in the warning (i.e. accepting someone as a friend on Facebook doesn’t give them automatic access to “hack” your computer) if the warning did describe a genuine threat, Facebook of course would remove any offending account that was adding and subsequently “hacking” other Facebook users, meaning this warning would soon become redundant.
But there is no such hacker, and these warnings seemingly timeless. Over a decade ago warnings advising users not to add user Simon Ashton to their MSN Messenger contact list were hurriedly disseminated between panicked IM users fearing he’d “burn their hard drives”. And only a year ago a warning about the “Facebook hackers” Christopher and Jessica Davies spread virally claiming all they needed was to be added as a friend to completely compromise your online security.
And between those two examples, countless variants have been spread across the Internet far and wide. They are hoaxes and should not be shared.
With that said, adding strangers on Facebook isn’t a good idea, and can potentially lead to compromising your privacy and your security, albeit not in the manner described in this warning. Accepting strangers gives them access to more of your personal information which can lead to issues such as identity theft. We outline some reasons to avoid accepting strangers on Facebook in our article here.