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Issue 127 - March 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 4

BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax

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Outline
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.

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Last updated: 14th March 2012
First published: 12th October 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples
This message is to inform all our customers, our servers have been very busy recently, so we are asking your help to solve this problem. We need our active users forward this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using BlackBerry Messenger, if you do not send this message to all your contacts in BlackBerry Messenger, then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts. The automatic update icon on your BlackBerry, will appear with the transmission of this message. Your default will be updated within 24 hours, will feature a new design and a new color for chat. Dear BlackBerry users, we do an update for MSN BB from 23:00 pm to 05:00 am this day. If you do not send this to all your contacts the update is cancelled and will not be able to chat with your contacts if you have the previous version this is the real upgrade code for your blackberry: BB859Z23380; to spread this message to all your contacts Tel automatically you will shut down and turn and you can have the new blackberry 6.8 Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone.

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:
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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 127 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Pointless and Exploitive 'Share if You Are Against Child Abuse' Facebook Post
  2. Little Girl With Huge Belly Facebook Donation Hoax
  3. Intuit.com Malware Emails
  4. BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax
  5. Friend Request Facebook Ban Warning
  6. Arwa Has Now Been Found - Help find Missing Girl Arwa Message
  7. Hoax - Nagasaki Arch Survives Both Atomic Bomb and Tsunami
  8. Pharmacy Spam Emails Purport to be From YouTube
  9. False Warning - Do Not Add 'Jason Lee' Because Its a Virus
  10. 'Wolf' Slaughter Protest Message
  11. Fake Three Headed Snake Image
  12. False Warning - Facebook Will Soon Require Social Security Numbers When Users Login
  13. Advance Fee Scam - British National Lottery Promo Programme
  14. Invitation FB Olympic Torch Virus Hoax