Facebook message warns Farmville players not to open a white gift box surrounded by blue lace because it is a virus.
The message is a hoax. There are no credible references to a virus or malware threat that has the characteristics of the one described in this message. Versions of the warning have circulated since mid 2010. Reposting this warning will help no one.
According to yet another breathless warning that is rocketing around social network Facebook, Farmville players should watch out for a white gift box surrounded by blue lace because it is a virus. The message warns that the gift does not come from Farmville and asks that users repost the information to alert other Farmville players.
However, the warning does not describe a genuine virus threat and should not be taken seriously. There is no information about such a threat listed on any reputable computer security or anti-virus resource except for articles that question the warning’s veracity. While the above warning has been reposted countless times across Facebook and other social media sites, there are no credible reports whatsoever about anyone actually encountering an instance of this supposed virus. Moreover, equally unsubstantiated versions of the warning have been circulating since at least June 2010. It is not credible to suggest that, in all that time, such a virus threat would have completely escaped the attention of all of the major anti-virus and computer security vendors. Thus, in short, the message is just another pointless hoax and it certainly should not be reposted.
Of course, cybercriminals use many ruses to entice the unsuspecting into visiting sites or opening attachments that contain malware. In other cases, they may try to trick people into divulging personal and financial information by following links to phishing scam sites. Certainly, all Internet users, including those who play Farmville, should be cautious of following links or opening attachments in unsolicited messages.
However, reposting false virus warnings such as this one will serve only to clutter social networks with even more utterly useless information. Before reposting any virus warning in any format, it is important to take the time to check that the warning is valid, accurate and up-to-date. In fact, sending on false, misleading or outdated computer security warnings is likely to be counterproductive in that genuine alerts may get hopelessly lost in the seemingly endless sea of hyperventilating, ALL CAPS nonsense inundating our social networks.
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!