A warning is spreading on Facebook advising users not to accept a user called James Wood since he is a hacker. The warning claims that if one of your contacts accepts a friend request from this user you will also be hacked.
An example of the warning can be seen below –
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.
This is just the latest in a long running series of fake hacker warnings that circulate the social networking site every month or so with only a few details altered, including the name of the alleged hacker. In fact a previous (and very popular) warning spread earlier in 2017 that read verbatim to this warning only with the name changed.
It appears online hoaxers merely take an existing fake warning, simply change the name and let is loose in the wild, and Facebook users simply pass on the warnings to all of their friends.
Many such warnings make vague and illogical statements, including this hoax warning, including sentences like “He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account“. We’re not at all sure what this is even supposed to mean.
All these silly warnings follow the same template. They vaguely claim some nefarious hacker is trying to lure unsuspecting Facebook users into accepting a friend request and once accepting, they can hack your Facebook account and/or computer.
Of course this is not technically feasible. As we have stated a number of times on this site, while we do not recommend accepting strangers into your digital life for privacy reasons, doing so does not automatically hand a crook – hacker or not – access to your Facebook account, since they need your login information (including your password) to access your account.
These fake hacker warnings are prolific, and have been running amok on social media long before the days of Facebook. In fact they started being passed around in the days of chain email, warning email recipients not to add certain email addresses to their contact books. Then they morphed onto services like Yahoo and MSN Messenger, warning recipients not to add certain messaging contacts, before evolving on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.
Despite their persistence and popularity, these warnings still manage to go viral to this day. As with previous warnings, this is just a hoax and should not be circulated as true.