Email claims that social networking site bebo.com is closing down and warns that recipients will be charged $10 per month to keep their accounts if they do not forward the message to others
Hey it is Andy the director of Bebo (www.bebo.com) Tim Buiski, sorry for the interruption but Bebo is closing the system down because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the names, we only have 578 names left, if you would like to close your account, then do not send this message out, if you would like to keep your account, then send this message to everyone on your contact list. This is no joke, we are really shutting down the servers. Send it, thanks, Tim Buiski
WHO EVER DOES NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CLOSED AND WILL COST $10.00 A MONTH TO USE, SEND THIS TO EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST.
This message claims that social networking site bebo.com is closing down because “inconsiderate people are taking up all the names”. The message warns that, if recipients do not send the message to others, they will be charged $10 per month to use their Bebo accounts.
However, like its long and sorry line of predecessors, the message is pure nonsense. From time to time, a new version of the hoax message begins circulating with slightly different details. Here, the hoax targets Bebo.com. However, other versions with virtually identical text claim that MSN is the company closing down:
Hey it is Andy and john the directors of MSN, sorry for the interruption but msn is closing down. this is because too many inconsiderate people are taking up all the name (eg making up lots of different accounts for just one person), we only have 578 names left. If you would like to close your account, DO NOT SEND THIS MESSAGE ON. If you would like to keep your account, then SEND THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE ON YOUR CONTACT LIST. This is no joke, we will be shutting down the servers. Send it on,
Yet another version that also features “director” Tim Buiski is aimed at Yahoo users:
Hey its the director of yahoo, Tim Buiski, Sorry for the interuption, but Yahoo is closing the system down because too many booters are taking up all the names, we only have 57 names left, if you would like to close your account, don’t send this mesage, if you want to keep your account, send this message to everyone on your list. This is no joke, you’ll be sorry you didn’t send it. Thanks, Director of Yahoo, Tim Buiski, WHOEVER DOESN’T SEND THIS MESSAGE YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DEACTIVATED AND IT WILL COST $10.00 A month to USE IT TO SEND
All versions of the hoax are completely untrue. No legitimate company would alert customers to impending account closures via such vague and poorly written emails. Nor would they attempt to force users to forward the message to others by threatening to close the accounts of those who do not comply.
Versions of the hoax have been circulating for several years. Despite claims in the messages, none of the services targeted have closed down or began charging for previously free accounts. As noted, messages aimed at different online services are very similar in style and phrasing. This indicates that the same messages are simply recycled occasionally by unimaginative pranksters to suit a new and different audience. And of course, there is nothing on the Bebo website to back up the claims in the message in any way.
This warning message and all its foolish cousins, should be deleted.
Last updated: 30th August 2006
First published: 30th August 2006
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!