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Issue 105 - August 2010 - Page 16

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Mars, Earth - Closest Approach in Recorded History
  2. Falsely Attributed Quote - A Norman Rockwell Moment
  3. Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam
  4. Scammers Pose as Microsoft Tech Support Workers to Hijack Computers
  5. Laptop Fire Death Warning Email
  6. Verified By Visa Banking Incident Phishing Scam
  7. St. Augustine Find - Huge Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  8. Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax
  9. Five Headed Cobra Hoax Images
  10. AOL Update Billing Information Phishing Scam
  11. Kevin Rudd Fire the Cattle Guards Hoax
  12. Resignation Of Barack Obama Virus Hoax
  13. Decorative Magnets on Refrigerators - Cancer Warning Hoax
  14. Knob Face Trojan Worm Warning Message
  15. Face Book Promotion Advance Fee Scam
  16. BlackBerry RIM Inactive Account Hoax
  17. Circulating Request - Help Pooja Find Her Parents
  18. Black in the White House Virus Hoax
  19. 1954 Home Computer Hoax
  20. Debbie Shwartz Charity Hoax

Issue 105 Start Menu

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BlackBerry RIM Inactive Account Hoax

Outline
Message circulating via BlackBerry Messenger, purporting to be from Research In Motion (RIM), claims that, due to a server problem, the recipient must resend the message to all his or her contacts or the account will remain inactive and contact information will be lost.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are untrue. The message is a pointless hoax and was not sent by RIM. BlackBerry has posted information on its website denying involvement in the hoax and urging users to ignore the message.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 7th July 2010
First published: 7th July 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Hello, greetings from RIM (Research In Motion) proprietors of BlackBerry. This message is to inform all of our users, that our servers have recently been really full, so we are asking for your help to fix this problem. We need our active users to re-send this message to everyone on your contact list in order to confirm our active users that use BlackBerry Messenger, if you do not send this message to all your BlackBerry Messenger contacts then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts.

We apologize for the inconvenience but this is the only way possible to resolve this problem. Sincerely Research in Motion. For more information visit:
www.blackberry.com/inactiveuser



Detailed Analysis
According to this message, which circulates via BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry's servers have become "really full", and users are therefore required to send on the message to all of their BlackBerry Messenger contacts to help fix this problem. The message claims that, if users do not send on the message, their BlackBerry account will remain inactive and they will lose all of their contact information. Supposedly, the message was sent out by Research In Motion (RIM), the proprietors of BlackBerry.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. The message was not sent by RIM, and users certainly will not lose their accounts or contacts if they do not send it on. The "more information" link in the message invokes a "page not found" error. RIM has denounced the message as a hoax on the BlackBerry website, noting:
A hoax message circulating on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) asks users to forward on the BBM message to their contacts in order to maintain BBM service, and claims to have been originally sent by Research In Motion (RIM).

Rest assured that this BBM message did not originate from RIM and that it does not impact the security of BlackBerry smartphones. It is simply a hoax chain message. Unfortunately, many social networking applications face this scenario, whereby any message, including a hoax message, can be forwarded to a user from one of their contacts. We recommend that users simply ignore the message and do not forward it.
In fact, the message is nothing more than new incarnation of a long line of very similar hoaxes that claim that a particular service provider will close down, start charging for previously free accounts, or restrict user accounts if a message is not forwarded to others. Any message that makes such a claim is virtually certain to be a hoax. No legitimate service provider is ever likely to require users to send on a particular message to their contacts in order to show that their account is still active. While some service providers may reserve the right to deactivate accounts that have been inactive for a lengthy period of time, they certainly do not need users to "prove" that their accounts are active by sending on a message. They can easily ascertain a particular account's activity levels by examining their own records.

Such hoaxes often spread far and wide and may circulate for years on end because recipients mistakenly believe that they may lose their accounts if they do not send on the messages. These hoaxes are utterly pointless. If you receive one of these hoaxes, please do not pass it on to others. And please take a moment to inform the sender that the message is a hoax. The following links point to articles debunking other versions of the hoax: Anther recent hoax also targets BlackBerry by falsely claiming that recipients can get free BlackBerry phones in exchange for forwarding an email.

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References
Hoax message circulating on BlackBerry Messenger
Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax



Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 105 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Mars, Earth - Closest Approach in Recorded History
  2. Falsely Attributed Quote - A Norman Rockwell Moment
  3. Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam
  4. Scammers Pose as Microsoft Tech Support Workers to Hijack Computers
  5. Laptop Fire Death Warning Email
  6. Verified By Visa Banking Incident Phishing Scam
  7. St. Augustine Find - Huge Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  8. Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax
  9. Five Headed Cobra Hoax Images
  10. AOL Update Billing Information Phishing Scam
  11. Kevin Rudd Fire the Cattle Guards Hoax
  12. Resignation Of Barack Obama Virus Hoax
  13. Decorative Magnets on Refrigerators - Cancer Warning Hoax
  14. Knob Face Trojan Worm Warning Message
  15. Face Book Promotion Advance Fee Scam
  16. BlackBerry RIM Inactive Account Hoax
  17. Circulating Request - Help Pooja Find Her Parents
  18. Black in the White House Virus Hoax
  19. 1954 Home Computer Hoax
  20. Debbie Shwartz Charity Hoax