A post currently making its way around Facebook warns you not to accept a friendship request from a person named James Wood.
Supposedly, this person is a hacker that “has the system connected to your Facebook Account”. The warning claims that, if one of your contacts accepts James Wood, your account will also be hacked.
An example of the post:
Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept friendship request from james wood . He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked
Yet Another Silly Friend Request Hacker Hoax
The supposed warning is not valid. Sharing it will help nobody and there is no genuine security threat like the one described.
Instead, the message is yet another example in a seemingly endless stream of very similar hacker hoaxes. Such “friend request hacker” hoaxes have been circulating the Internet in various forms for many years.
Pranksters tend to use an existing hoax as a template, plugin a new name for the alleged hacker, tweak some details, and launch a brand new version of the hoax. Note this version’s similarity to a previous hoax that claimed – again falsely – that one Jaden K. Smith was the dastardly friend request hacker:
Please tell all the contacts in your Messenger list, not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He 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.
‘Hacker” Scenario Described is Not Valid
The scenario described in these messages is technically impossible. Criminals use a range of methods to fool people into giving up access to their accounts. They might, for example, trick you into installing malware that allows them to take control of your computer. Or they might use a phishing attack to trick you into sending them personal information such as usernames and passwords, which would, of course, allow the criminals to access your account.
However, even the smartest criminal 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.
Hoax May Damage The Reputation Of Innocent People
“James Wood” is a common name and is likely shared by many people around the world. Thus, sharing this spurious nonsense could unfairly damage the reputation of innocent people who just happen to share the name of the supposed hacker.
Do not take any of these silly hacker warning messages seriously. If a message claims that just accepting a friend request will, by itself, give a hacker access to your computer, it should be regarded as a hoax.
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!