According to a “warning” post that is currently circulating on Facebook, you should not accept a friendship request from a person called Andrea Wilson.
The warning claims that Andrea Wilson is a hacker who has ‘the system connected to your facebook account’. And, claims the post, if one of your contacts accepts the friend request, you will be hacked as well.
But, in fact, the hacker threat described is not real and the warning should not be taken seriously.
The post is just another version in a long line of silly hacker hoaxes that have been passed around on Facebook for several years. New versions of the hoax that feature different names for the supposed hacker regularly appear.
The hoaxes may be originally created as silly pranks targeted at a friend of the perpetrator. Or, they may be deliberate and unfair attempts to discredit or cause problems for the targeted person.
Several other, almost identical, versions of the hoax that use different names for the supposed hacker are also currently circulating.
Example of the hoax warning:
Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept friendship request from Andrea Wilson . She is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received.
Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them THIS Is REAL
To all my contacts on face book, someone doesn’t like my ravings on Facebook and are trying to hack me! If you get a befriended notice from a Andrea Wilson who is trying to connect herself with you via my Facebook page Do not accept. She does not appear anywhere on my page and I suspect that it is a ruse to infect my computer. Sounds paranoid I know but better to be safe than sorry.
Hackers Cannot Take Control of Your Accounts in the Way Described
Online crooks use several methods to trick users into relinquishing control of their accounts. They may use phishing scam messages to trick people into handing over account login credentials and other personal details. Once they have gathered this information, the crooks may then hijack the compromised account and use it for their own purposes.
Or, the crooks might trick people into installing malware that provides access to the infected computer or steals account login details.
However, even the smartest hacker will not be able to take control of your computer just by being added to your Facebook friends list. For a hacking attempt to work, some sort of file transfer or exchange of information must take place or the victim must take some sort of action such as installing malware.
Such hacker warnings are useless
Passing on these fake alerts will do nothing to help people stay safe online. Nor will they help people protect their online accounts. Such hoaxes only spread confusion and alarm for no good reason.
And, these hoaxes often use common names that are shared by a many people around the world. So, the hoaxes can unfairly damage the reputations of people who have done nothing wrong.
If you receive one of these hoaxes, do not pass it on. And, let the person who posted it know that the claims in the message are untrue.
However, Do Be Cautious With Friend Requests
As discussed, these warning messages are false and should not be taken seriously.
That said, it is important to use caution and common sense when accepting friend requests. Scammers will sometimes send friend requests and, if you accept, they will try to trick you into sending them money or personal information, installing malware, or visiting spam websites.
And Facebook cloning scammers may send you bogus friend requests that appear to come from people that you are already friends with.