Facebook price grid hoax panics users into sharing message

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Social networks, Spam

The kindness of friends is helping perpetuate an ongoing hoax that has spread widely across Facebook.

If you've seen a message like the following, posted by one of your Facebook friends, do them and the other billion users of Facebook a favour, and tell them that it's a hoax.

Facebook price grid hoax

FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT. IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON...

Facebook's share price may have taken something of a stumble since the company floated on the stock market, but is not about to start charging you money to use its social network.

FacebookIf something like this had even the flimsiest shred of truth about it, you would read it on the front pages of the big news websites like the BBC and CNN - but there's nothing to be seen.

The truth is that this hoax has been spreading for quite some time - and shows no sign of dying. The problem is that it's so easy to share a message like this with your online friends that people will do it automatically just in case it's true, rather than spend twenty seconds searching the net to see if it's a hoax or not.

Once again, a hoax is being given oxygen by users who believe they are doing their online friends a favour. The truth is that they're unwittingly polluting the service with poppycock and disinformation.

Don't forget you should join the Sophos Facebook page, where we not only debunk hoaxes and chain letters, but we also keep you up-to-date on the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening Facebook users.

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7 Responses to Facebook price grid hoax panics users into sharing message

  1. Dennis · 685 days ago

    However, Facebook is testing "promoting" posts for a fee. http://newsroom.fb.com/News/Testing-Promoted-Post...
    Perhaps this is the reason this hoax is resurfacing.

  2. Kim · 685 days ago

    That's the same thing I was going to say! http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?f...

    • Graham Cluley · 685 days ago

      Yes, but Facebook has always charged people/businesses who want to advertise or promote themselves on the site.

      The hoax is about whether you have to pay to *use* Facebook.

      Which, as we all hopefully realise by now, you don't. :)

  3. Nigel · 685 days ago

    I had thought that by now it was a universally understood general rule of the Internet environment that ANY instance of "Please pass this message on..." or things of that ilk should be instantly deleted.

    Anyone who sends me such a message instantly fails a fundamental intelligence test.

    • Ray · 682 days ago

      You,r right Nigel. On my PC stuff like that is deleted right away.

  4. Laura Gilbertson · 685 days ago

    I do not have a business on line yet am getting a "Promote" button under things I want to share with friends, you pay to promote, games are made harder so that you are constantly being asked to "buy" extra life or tokens etc. You cannot blame anyone for thinking that this was a true post. It is becoming more and more about the company, share holders and money and not the about the social aspect.

  5. Theo · 682 days ago

    What i'm wondering is why they don't ask for money... I mean it should be easy enough

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.