Facebook price grid? $9.99 for gold membership? The charging hoax continues to spread

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Social networks, Spam

A hoax claiming that Facebook is planning to start charging users continues to spread across the social network, and has now been adapted by mischief-makers into a claim that the service will be free if users forward a message before midnight.

Duped users are sharing the message with their online friends, believing it will help them avoid charges of between $3.99 and $9.99 per month.

False Facebook price grid message


It's amazing what people will believe when they are sent a message from a trusted friend - but let me assure you, Facebook is *not* going to ask you for your payment when you sign onto the site tomorrow morning. And no, the announcement of Facebook beginning to charge its users has *not* been on the news.

As I explained at the end of last week, these claims are complete and utter poppycock. If a friend of yours forwards you the message, admonish them for spreading a chain letter and suggest they inform all of their friends that they were mistaken (maybe they could link to this article if anybody needs convincing?).

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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84 Responses to Facebook price grid? $9.99 for gold membership? The charging hoax continues to spread

  1. Vulture · 1469 days ago

    There's a sucker born every minute.

    • CuriosityCat · 1469 days ago

      Where do we go to see for ourselves that FB isn't charging fees? Gossip and chainletters have a source that eventually is proven as a lie along with the chain-of-events and intention track record. Truth has it's validation sources as well.

    • bill · 1469 days ago

      And there's a hacker born every 30 seconds!!!!!

    • Belinda · 1469 days ago

      No kidding. This trick has only been around since the infancy of the internet. Anyone that falls for this...Well lets just say the internet is not a safe place for them to be. They probably click on malware and send forwards with mis-information as well.

    • Roland · 1469 days ago

      and it just happens you are one of them...lol

  2. Alias23 · 1469 days ago

    Why on earth would FB charge? They make a fortune from advertising precisely BECAUSE it's a free, and heavily subscribed, service. If they introduced charges, they would look a lot less appealing to advertisers and their subscription rate would drop sharply. Facebook is NOT a service, don't ever think you're getting something for nothing! Your details and data are worth money, and advertisers will pay to get access to ready-targeted demographics.

  3. christine · 1469 days ago

    O good it's still free

    • bma52526 · 1468 days ago

      OMG I can't believe I just read this comment. There are dozens (if not thousands) of pages claiming that Facebook will charge. Each time I see one, either the date changes or the text itself has added information. The funny thing about this one is the fact that because it says that "it was on the news", people tend to believe it. ANYONE can add wording like this and people will believe it. You can tell them until you're blue in the face that it's not true, but sadly, people will believe this because "it was on the news".

  4. JesusFreak777 · 1469 days ago

    Alias23, did you not read the story? It clearly states that facebook is not gonna be charging. Instead of asking why on earth would Facebook charge you should ask why would ignorant people send out these post.

    • SaintJudy · 1469 days ago

      JesusFreak777, did you not read Alias23's post correctly? It clearly states theories why Facebook would not start charging. Instead of trashing someone's comment maybe you should read the comment again.

    • NotListening · 1469 days ago

      They were saying why FB would not charge....

  5. Gil Robinson · 1469 days ago

    I also check out SNOPES.COM whenever I see one of these tall tales on FB.

  6. Robert Gracie · 1469 days ago

    How are these people getting away with theses hoaxes its just mad Facebook will NEVER CHARGE anyone ever it would ruin their reputation as the worlds largest social network and it would cause their members to quit and go else where its getting beyond a joke now with these hoaxes they are really driving me up the wall

  7. Sonia Douville · 1469 days ago

    I just find it annoying when people on FaceBook keep spreading this crap around believeing it's real. I'm starting to "un friend" people who do this.

    • Belinda · 1469 days ago

      As well you should. If they are doing these things without thinking twice, they are probably doing other things that compromise themselves in other ways, whether its clicking on phishing/malware links or just being unaware of how dangerous it is to not know what you are doing on the internet.

    • Doc · 1468 days ago

      i un-friended 10 people over the weekend just for posting that mess

  8. Michael Stanton · 1469 days ago

    Link copied and posted. The rest is up to them

  9. Janeen · 1469 days ago

    I shared the link to this article on my Facebook page. Sorry to hear so many are being duped.

  10. oscar · 1469 days ago

    wow u guys are rite

  11. AFF · 1469 days ago

    I hope FB starts charging, maybe people will realize what a scumbag zuck is.

  12. LScott · 1469 days ago

    I believe this- yes.
    But let me ask this, did Mark Zuckerberg HIMSELF announce this ANYWHERE publicly as of yet? Did, HE, appear on TV, anywhere as of yet? Or is HE, going to ACTUALLY make this KNOWN to EVERYONE on Facebook? I only ask because I have YET to read/hear it straight from him- others are speaking for him, like HERE, and yet, HE, himself has yet, to clarify this.

    • mizsilverside · 1469 days ago

      If Zuckerberg made an announcement every time these rumours went around then he'd have no time to do anything else! There's a statement on the log in page saying facebook is free, "and always will be". That's enough, in my eyes.

    • FBaddicted · 1469 days ago

      On facebooks homepage it says Sign up-It's free. And always will be.
      If this is Zuckerberg's site, i'm pretty sure he would be aware that's on his homepage.

    • kim · 1469 days ago

      I liken your statement to believing people when they say that the earth is going to cease to exist tomorrow & asking for proof from god that it's not going to happen.

    • Belinda · 1469 days ago

      It doesn't matter if he announced it or not. People should not have to disprove malignant hearsay from morons.

      • Amanda · 1236 days ago

        Here is one for you, have you heard zuckerberg say that they were going to charge any where on tv? no so if he didnt announce that its happening then that would be a pretty good indication that its not true. duh. you want the man to go on tv to disprove a hoax well how bout you wait for him to go on tv to announce things before you believe. that makes more sense then so want the man to go on tv to say nope not true just assume if he has not announced something then its because its not true

  13. Rianna Green · 1469 days ago

    Is fb really charging!

  14. Ranica · 1469 days ago

    LOL rumors, rumors, spread like water..... somebdy jus wanted this to be the NEW BIG THING, and it almost kinda workd, because at first i believe the whole charging thing until i did some of my own further investigation and found out it really wasnt true........THANK GOD LOL

  15. amin · 1469 days ago

    Is not a Big deal,If Zukerberg wants to b one of the top poorest man on Earth,He should jst try it,aftrol there are so many social networks out there...

  16. Hell ya now i dont have to make a twitter acount

  17. RUTH · 1469 days ago

    Facebook is not charging and never will. If they did 60 million people will leave facebook. I wish they would stop changing things and just leave it alone. It's very confusing to so many people when they change things. LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE. IF IT'S NOT BROKE DON'T FIX IT.

    • Genima Doec · 1469 days ago

      If it's not broke don't fix it? How stupid. Imagine if people actually stuck to this.
      My old 386DX PC worked perfectly fine but I much prefer my Core i7.
      Just like you could start a car perfectly well with a crank handle, but it's much easier with an electric starter motor.
      In fact, once upon a time you distributed information by writing it down on paper and a nice man would deliver it for you for a small fee. But I'm sure you much prefer this internet business.

    • B.J. · 1469 days ago


    • First of all, 60 million leaving Facebook is a drop in the bucket compared to the reported total subscriber base of 800 MILLION. Why in the world would they change one of the most profitable business models around: Give the service free in exchange for charging for access to your ever expanding user base? The guys running Facebook might be young...but, stupid they are not!

  18. Stormy! · 1469 days ago

    What Next Eh!!!!

  19. Jonathen Lane · 1469 days ago

    This is stupid! i really don't believe in this bullsh*t!

    • KITTY CAT 2475 · 1469 days ago

      Why would somebody out there start a hoax if Zukerberg didn't even say it for himself on the news huh??

      • bma52526 · 1468 days ago

        Because people tend to believe EVERYTHING on the internet and take it as TRUTH when, in fact, it's a load of rubbish.

        Just because it says in your friends post that "it was on the news", does it actually mean that? I mean, think about what you're reading here. ANYBODY can add that into a post and people tend to believe it for the simple reason that things we see on the news is REALITY. Do some research on hoaxes like this one using snopes.com or urbanlegends.com and you'll discover the real truth. Another good site to use is nakedsecurity.sophos.com (which I personally use).

  20. Paulo · 1469 days ago

    I was taken by this as well as it was passed onto me by a trusted friend....are we not to trust our friends! yes we all feel silly and dumb when we find out the truth but why does Facebook not respond to this by post an add across it's network...or even it's members page to stop it from ever getting to this point?

    • Tambra · 1469 days ago

      From Facebook themselves: https://www.facebook.com/facebook/posts/101504200... . "A rumor on the internet caught our attention. We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It's free and always will be." This claim is also on the FB Home page where people Sign Up to join Facebook! Interesting how quickly some forget this statement.

    • alwaysangling · 1468 days ago

      exactly, i reposted the crap as well, figuring "better safe than sorry". had they really decided to charge people, fb would have died like aol tv.

  21. Don · 1469 days ago

    Great news .Every fb person should be informed so that they don't do anything erational

  22. jacqueline santos · 1469 days ago

    thanks for the info...God Bless....

  23. lololfb · 1469 days ago

    On September 31st, Facebook will start charging you for your account. To avoid this, you MUST get NAKED, stand on your dining room table and do the Macarena, all the while singing ”I Will Survive”. After filming and posting it to your Facebook wall and YouTube, then, and only then, will Mark Zuckerberg come down your chimney to tell you that your account will stay free. Pass it on, it must be true because someone on Facebook I hardly know told me.

  24. mcgraver sterwart · 1469 days ago

    back to friendster... LOL

  25. Saisai · 1469 days ago

    I knew that message was not real and I ignore it period. k bai

  26. al mazochia · 1469 days ago


  27. muthu natanam · 1469 days ago

    Can't understand why people start spreading false and avoidable rumours. Sadism ?

  28. HardAppleCider · 1469 days ago

    I cannot believe that ANY human being would willingly repost this.
    They must have been made to do it, either by computer malware or space alien mind control.

    Damn you space aliens! Stop making humans act like reactionary creatures without any cognitive capabilities whatsoever! That's not nice!

  29. freddy · 1469 days ago

    i think that face book should come up with a business plan and charge for it . it return you get tools to promote you business fan page . i would pay for some tools to help me spread my fan page around . like a mass messaging tool to blast a text ad to profiles that like what you are selling . and profiles could have an opt-in area to list the kind of businesses they would like to get coupon from or some kind of deal . think about it . you can add a like list in your pref and get deals sent to you . this way the business can reach 100% the market they want and the profiles also get the deals they would buy . any way as a 5 location business owner i would pay for a tool to send out deals to opt-in profiles of my goods .

  30. Georges · 1469 days ago

    Thanks man =)

  31. imuneeb · 1469 days ago

    Link to the official post. there will be NO charges or anything like that.

  32. LILIBETH REDOVA · 1469 days ago

    what a silly stupid false spreading new's .crazy people!!!!1

  33. Bouzu · 1469 days ago

    I just got the message today and I almost fell for it until I decided to look up the information myself. I already posted it on my news feed so that no one else gets duped by this phoney bull crap. Thank you for putting this article up, it really relieved some pressure off me.

  34. Cheryl · 1469 days ago

    Thanks for watching out for people like me!

  35. g2g · 1469 days ago

    what people would believe the charging is bogus.

  36. mubashar Ghani · 1469 days ago

    People are so dumb to repeatedly post the same thing, even though i told them it's fake. well i hope they start charging.

  37. Kehinde Ajayi · 1469 days ago

    I find it rather difficult to to believe that FACE BOOK wants to start charging for being on their social network which is supposed to be the biggest social network ever,and to think of the number of adverts that runs on facebook network is completely unimmaginable,so to this effect,i think this new move by facebook group if its anything to go by is a wrong move in the wrong direction and its rather unrealistic.Face book already make lots of money from the huge patronage on their network.

    • bma52526 · 1468 days ago

      Umm, Keninde? Did you not read the article itself? FACEBOOK WILL NEVER CHARGE. This rumour has been going around for a long time now. Each time I see it, the date changes. Do some research for yourself and you'll realise that what I'm saying is true.

  38. Roland · 1468 days ago

    Facebook, people are so bored they surf facebook to express their rights and opinions and so it is for the darn hackers and spammers and all the creepy crawly critters of FB, as a FB fan myself I am smart enough to know if something is fake or not....so if you copy and paste this stupid message to all your friends and family than i guess you just paid with your time to waddle in the scam...wake up its cyber world not Earth. dont bother posting trash it gives them the thrill of your attention..just ignore them simple as that, if you cant than stop wasting our time hearing you cry and moan about it because we know you may be a thrill seeker as well....

  39. ID-10-T Locator · 1468 days ago

    "jacqueline santos · 10 hours ago

    thanks for the info...God Bless.... "

    OMG, this person was that concerned. OMG, people are soooo dumb! No wonder they freak every time Facebook moves something, or they leave their entire profile open to the world. Dumb is as dumb does.

  40. Sophie Hart · 1468 days ago

    I did a joke take on this message and put that people should lasso flying pigs or facebook would charge them. I'm not kidding when I say that someone actually replied concerned that facebook would charge them as they couldn't do what i'd asked . Flying pigs!! I ask you

  41. kiran · 1468 days ago

    when I saw the message, I ignore it and further confirm it by this site............spam
    How people fool are...........

  42. GANI · 1468 days ago

    http://www.facebook.com/facebook stop this nonsonse look at the link

  43. Dwmom3 · 1468 days ago

    Any idea why some friends have a gold facebook icon for a profile picture today, & the words "this status requires facebook Gold account to view". The same message comes up in this friend's comment thread, for all his comments, despite being able to read his friends' comments.

  44. Mimi phinao · 1468 days ago

    Thnkz 4 da info!

  45. rithwick chatterjee · 1468 days ago

    not to worry it was a balderdash by some mischief mongers

  46. Get Educated · 1468 days ago

    thanks for the info...
    i am not believing this..

  47. Joe · 1468 days ago

    I got one of those this morning. I figured it was a hoax, but I'm glad you clarified this point.

  48. Asline · 1468 days ago

    Well I didn't ignore it, I posted it so I guess I am one of those duh people; however, FB is becoming an extremely frustrating place to use, they change things constantly and half the time it doesn't work proper or you can't find things and there is NO TECH SUPPORT !!!

  49. Hurr Derp · 1360 days ago

    This comment needs a Naked Security Gold Account to be viewed.

  50. christine · 1235 days ago


    Cannot believe that people do believe these stories

    they better check sophos and/or hoax sites first

    this also goes for the socalled cancervictims who get money well
    let me tell u this NOT it is all scamming

    • Bobbie S · 1234 days ago

      when i first saw the advertisement come up about the small child that needed surgery....i felt so bad and wanted to help, NOT KNOWING that it was a scam....i since saw the notice of fb charging and of course i re-posted, but since i came to this website I see how someone tries to stir up stuff and get everyone all ramped up.....I definitely will know for next time and come to SOPHOS and check it out first....thank you. Bobbie S.

  51. Bill Boyd · 1230 days ago

    With Facebook you can never tell. They do things like this new format which I hate and never ask about doing it. I would not put it past them to start charging for services.

  52. Mark · 1095 days ago

    Almost passed this message, good thing I read it first. Anyway I'm a Filipino facebook user, and I guess that dumb people are always dumb. Were not yet done fighting for the implementation of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) here in the said country, and now this. RIDICULOUS!!!!! I guess some people passed this already, which claims to be true. I guess that Facebook will charged that user who responsible for posting this. And to be exact, I confirmed to the news that this is NOT TRUE!!! So I have a message for you you SCUM****, stop this and respect to others you BXXXXH!

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at https://grahamcluley.com, 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley