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‘Magnus’ Facebook Hacker Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

According to a message that is currently circulating on Facebook, you should not accept Magnus [surname removed] as a Facebook friend. 

The message claims that the person is an advanced technical hacker who will be able to access your bank accounts if you accept his friendship. It also claims that, if one of your friends accepts him, you will also be hacked.  The message is currently circulating in both Swedish and English.

However, the message is just a nonsensical hoax and its claims should not be taken seriously. It is just one more in a long, sorry line of very similar friend request hacker hoaxes.

These Hoaxes are NOT Harmless and Should NOT be Shared

Such hoaxes commonly use names that are shared by many individuals around the world. So, sharing these hoaxes unfairly damages the reputations of innocent people who have the same name as that of the supposed hacker. The innocent victims of these hoaxes may have to deal with ongoing harassment and bullying via social media.

Hacking Scenario Outlined is Not Feasible

The hacking scenario described in these messages is not a feasible one. Scammers use many tricks to fool people into compromising their accounts. They may trick you into installing malware that allows them to take control of your computer. Or they may launch a phishing attack designed to trick you into sending them personal information such as your account username and password.

But, even the most technically advanced hacker cannot take control of your computer or bank accounts just because you accept his or her friend request. For a hacking attempt to be successful, some sort of file transfer or exchange of information must take place.

Any message that claims that just accepting a friend request will somehow give hackers access to your computer should be dismissed as a hoax.

An example of the hoax message (Translated from Swedish):

Please notify everyone in your friend list not to accept magnus [surname removed] on Facebook. He’s an advanced technical hacker who can access your bank account if you accept friendship. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure all your friends know it. Thank you. Keep your finger on the message. At the bottom of the middle it will stand “forward”. press that button and then click all the names in your list and this message will be sent to them. Thank you and good luck!

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,