Circulating message claims that messaging service Viber will start charging you to send messages if you do not send the information to ten people to prove that you are an ‘avid user’.
Viber is not set to start charging users for sending messages. The message is just a new version of an old hoax. It is derived from a very similar hoax message that claimed that WhatsApp would start charging users who did not send the warning to others. Sending on this nonsensical message will help nobody.
According to a message that is being passed around by users of messaging app Viber, the service will become chargeable unless the same warning is sent to ten other people.
The message claims that, by sending the warning to ten people, you prove that you are an ‘avid user’ and will therefore not be required to pay a new per-message fee.
The message advises that, after you have sent the warning, Viber’s ‘light will turn blue’. Supposedly, this blue light indicates that billing has not been activated for your account.
However, the message is an absurd hoax. Viber is not set to start charging users for sending ordinary messages via its app. And, no company would ever be likely to force people to send on a silly message to prove that they are active users.
In fact, the message is just an amended version of another long-running hoax that claimed that messaging service WhatsApp would start charging if users did not send on a warning. As the following example reveals, the two hoaxes are almost identical except for the change in the name of the app:
Saturday morning whatsapp will become chargeable. If you have at least 10 contacts send them this message. In this way we will see that you are an avid user and your logo will become blue and will remain free. (As discussed in the paper today. Whatsapp will cost 0.01€ per message. Send this message to 10 people. When you do the light will turn blue otherwise whatsapp activate billing.
The WhatsApp hoax was in turn derived from much older hoaxes that have used the names of various other online services, including Facebook, MSN, and Hotmail.
All claim that users must pass on a message to prove that they are active users and thereby avoid fees or the termination of their account. This ruse is apparently quite effective because online pranksters have used it over and over again for years.
Any message that claims that you must send on a warning to a specified number of people to avoid service charges or keep your account active is certain to be a hoax.