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Issue 165 - November, 2013 (1st Edition) - Page 12

Kik Messenger 'Over Usage Of Names' Forwarding Hoax

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Outline
Message claims that cross platform messaging service Kik has experienced an over usage of user names and warns users that they must forward the information to their entire contact list within 48 hours or their account will be deleted.  The message also warns that Kik is about to start charging people for using the system unless they prove that they are frequent users by sending the same message to at least 10 people.

Modern mobile smart phone. Sending and Receiving SMS Messages

© Depositphotos.com/ fotoscool



Brief Analysis
The message is just a silly hoax. Users do not have to send on an absurd message to show that their account is active and avoid being charged for service.  Kik is free to download and use. The message is almost identical to other hoaxes that falsely claim that messaging service WhatsApp is running out of server space and will soon start charging for sending messages. Forwarding this nonsense will help nobody.

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Example

Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Kik Messenger): We had an over usage of user names on Kik Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message,we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or Kik will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to reactivate your account after it has been deleted,a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Kik team” Kik is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user ie you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it ( A ‘D’ should appear)and your Kik logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent usage


Detailed Analysis


According to this message, popular cross platform messaging service Kik is having an over usage of user names and must therefore get rid of some accounts to make room. The message instructs users to forward the same message to their entire contact list to show that they are active users. And, claims the warning, if they do not share the message, their account will be deleted within 48 hours.

The message also claims that Kik will soon start charging people who are not "frequent users" of the service. Supposedly, however, Kik will stay free for those willing to prove that they are frequent users by sending the information to at least 10 other users. According to the message, once users have shared the information as instructed, the app logo will turn red to indicate that they are frequent users and they will not be charged for service.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Kik is not running out of user names and people will not lose their accounts of they do not send on the message. Nor is Kik about to start charging as claimed. Kik is free to download and use, although the company does offer optional in-app purchases. The company has dismissed the messages and others of its ilk as hoaxes via a post on the Kik website blog.

In fact, the message is nothing more than an alternative version of other hoaxes that have targeted users of messaging service WhatsApp. The WhatsApp versions also falsely claim that users must send on a message to avoid account deletion or impending service charges.

And both the Kik and WhatsApp hoaxes are derived from even earlier hoaxes that targeted Blackberry, MSN, and several other service providers.

No legitimate service provider is ever likely to require users to prove their activity levels by sending on a ridiculous message. Such claims are a common theme in hoax messages. Any claim that you must send on a message to your friends to keep your account active or avoid a charge is almost certain to be a hoax.

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Last updated: October 16, 2013
First published: October 16, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
They’re just chain messages. Really!
WhatsApp 'Servers Really Full' Hoax
WhatsApp 'Will Become Chargeable' Blue Logo Hoax
WhatsApp 'Logo Will Turn Red' Hoax
BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax
MSN 18 Contacts Hoax



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Issue 165 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Instant Noodles do NOT contain a Wax Coating That Causes Cancer
  2. Stephen Harper Inflammatory 'First Nations' Tweet Exposed as a Hoax
  3. Inaccurate 'Now Hiring' Toll Free Phone Number Message Still Circulating
  4. Celine Dion Death Hoax Points To Rogue App
  5. Chevrolet Camaro Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  6. PayPal 'ASDA Stores Order' Phishing Scam
  7. Amy Hamilton Missing Child Hoax
  8. Will Smith Facebook Death Post Leads to Rogue App
  9. Orange 'Account Notification' Phishing Scam
  10. Ford Mustang Giveaway Facebook Like-Farming Scam
  11. Facebook Donations For Sharing Hoax - 'Burned Baby Alexandra'
  12. Kik Messenger 'Over Usage Of Names' Forwarding Hoax