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Issue 120 - November 2011 - Page 14

BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax

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Circulating text message claims that BlackBerry Messenger users must resend the information to others or risk having their service deactivated.

Brief Analysis
The message is an absurd hoax an should not be reposted. There is not a shred of truth in the warning. It is a revamp of a number of earlier hoaxes that have circulated for more than a decade.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: 12th October 2011
First published: 12th October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

This is the real broadcast from Blackberry All rights reserved. Broadcast this message to every single contact on your BBM to reset your display picture, sorry for any inconvenience. 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 Symbol will automatic update in your BBM ,when you broadcast this message. Your blackberry will be updated within 24 hours it will have a new lay out and a new color for chat.

Detailed Analysis
According to a message that is circulating rapidly via BlackBerry Messenger, users who do not resend the message to "every single contact" risk have their accounts rendered inactive. The message claims that Blackberry's servers have "recently been really full" and users must therefore verify that they are active users by resending the information to others. The message also claims that those who comply and "broadcast" the message will receive an update that features a new layout and colour scheme for chat.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. In fact, the message is a slightly reworked version of another Blackberry Messenger hoax that began circulating in 2010. The earlier incarnation claimed to be direct from "RIM (Research In Motion) proprietors of BlackBerry". BlackBerry has published a notice about the hoax on its website and urges users to ignore the message.

And the earlier version was itself derived from a whole series of email-based hoaxes that claimed that uses would lose their accounts with various services if they did not forward a message. Other variants claim that a particular online service such as Facebook will start charging users unless they send on the information to others.

No legitimate company or service provider is ever likely to require customers to repost a silly message in order to keep their accounts or prove that they are active users. Any message that makes such a claim is virtually certain to be a hoax and should not reposted.

The following links point to articles debunking other versions of the hoax:
Bookmark and Share References
BlackBerry RIM Inactive Account Hoax
Hoax message circulating on BlackBerry Messenger
Hoax: Facebook to Start Charging This Summer - Facebook Icon Will Turn Blue

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Issue 120 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Facebook 'Add Pink Tinge to Your Profile' Virus Warning
  2. Hoax - UNICEF Receives 5 Euros Every Time You Share a Picture
  3. False Warnings - 'Cleaning out Friends List' Questions on Facebook Contain Viruses or are Posted by Hackers
  4. Image of Police Officer Macing a Child
  5. Hoax - SPCA South Africa is Closing Down
  6. Facebook '1 Lost Message' Pharmacy Spam Email
  7. Energy Saver Globe Warning Message - Mercury Exposure Foot Injury Images
  8. Westpac 'Quick Survey' Phishing Scam
  9. Free Heart Surgery for Children - Facebook Share
  10. Brighton Area 'Black or Dark Blue Dodge Caravan' Child Abduction Rumour
  11. Hoax Warning - 300km Winds for Johannesburg Region This Weekend
  12. Bogus Windows Firewall and Security Center Update Email Links To Malware
  13. Facebook Prayer Request For Baby Found in the Bin
  14. BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax
  15. AT&T Phishing Scam
  16. Bill Cosby - 'I'm 76 and I'm Tired'
  17. Boy Shot By Step Dad Charity Hoax