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Christopher or Jessica Davies Hacker Hoax Warning

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on December 8, 2009

Outline:
Message warns recipients not to accept a friend request from Christopher Davies or Jessica Davies because they are hackers who can gain access to your computer and the computers of your friends as well.


Brief Analysis:
The claims in this supposed warning are untrue. It is just one more in a long line of similar “hacker” hoaxes that substitute alternative names for the “hackers”. Even the most skilled hacker cannot take control of your computer just because you accept a friend request. For a hacking attempt to be successful, some sort of file transfer or exchange of information must take place. Sending on this nonsensical warning will help nobody.

Example:
DO NOT ACCEPT A FRIEND REQUEST FROM A CHRISOPHER DAVIES AND JESSICA DAVIES THEY ARE HACKERS. TELL EVERY 1 ON YOUR LIST BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS HIM, HE’LL BE ON YOUR LIST TOO. HE’LL FIGURE OUT UR COMPUTER’S ID AND ADDRESS , SO COPY & PASTE THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE EVEN IF U DON’T CARE

 

Example:
DO NOT ACCEPT A FRIEND REQUEST FROM CHRISTOPHER DAVIES OR JESSICA DAVIES, THEY ARE HACKERS !!!! PLEASE TELL EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST BECAUSE IF SOMEONE ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM THEY WILL BE ON YOUR LIST TOO….HE WILL FIGURE OUT YOUR COMPUTER IP AND ADDRESS. SO PLEASE COPY N PASTE THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE, BECAUSE IF HE HACKS THEM, HE HACKS YOU.TOO!



Detailed Analysis:
This message, which circulates via Facebook and other social networking websites as well as blogs, forums and email, claims that hackers named Christopher and Jessica Davies are gaining access to people’s computers by fooling recipients into doing no more than accepting friend requests.

However, the information in this message is untrue. It is just one more in a long line of very similar hoax warnings that have no basis in fact. From time to time, some unknown prankster substitutes a new name for the supposed hacker before launching the hoax anew. As the following examples show, except for the name changes and a few other minor alterations, the variants of the hoax use the same phrasing and make the same false claims.

Example 1:
DO NOT ACCEPT a friend request from a CHRISTOPHER BUTTERFIELD he is a hacker. Tell everyone on your list because if somebody on your list adds him u get him on your list too and he’ll figure out ur computer’s ID and address, so copy and paste this message to everyone even if u don’t care for them cause if he hacks their email he hacks your mail too! SEND TO ALL FRIENDS. Copy and paste to ur page…

Example 2:
IF THIS PERSON CALLED SIMON ASHTON (SIMON_25_@HOTMAIL.CO.UK) CONTACTS YOU THROUGH EMAIL DONT ACCEPT HIM. DELETE HIM BECAUSE HE IS A HACKER!!

TELL EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS HIM THEN YOU WILL GET HIM ON YOUR LIST. HE WILL FIGURE OUT YOUR ID COMPUTER ADDRESS, SO COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE AND FAST BECAUSE IF HE HACKS THEIR EMAIL HE HACKS YOUR MAIL TOO!!!!!..

In this case, the prankster has substituted two names – Christopher and Jessica Davies – rather than the usual one name. It is unclear what motivates these pranksters to create such bogus warnings. Perhaps they are malicious attempts to discredit or embarrass their victims. Or perhaps they are misguided practical jokes perpetrated by friends of those named in the messages. It is even possible that the pranksters simply make up the names used in these hoax messages.

All such hoax warnings are technically impossible. The messages suggest that just accepting a person – in this case, Christopher Davies or Jessica Davies – as a “friend” on your contact list will give the hacker access to your computer along with the computers of everyone else on your list as well. This is total nonsense. Hackers certainly do use a range of tactics to trick users into relinquishing access to their computers. Hackers might, for example, trick victims into installing trojan software that allows a computer to be controlled remotely. Or they might use a phishing attack to trick a victim into sending them personal information such as usernames and passwords, which would, of course, allow hackers to access their victim’s account. However, even the smartest hacker will not be able to hack your computer just by being added to your contact list. For a hacking attempt to be successful, some sort of file transfer or exchange of information must take place.

Regardless of the names used in these warning messages, all are equally invalid and they should not be taken seriously.

Note:
In March 2017, an alternative version of the hoax with extra “hacker” names began circulating via social media.  At its core, this version is just as misleading and inaccurate as its predecessors. However, it does touch upon a security issue that Facebook users do need to be aware of. [Read More]


Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer