It seems that a new viral hoax sweeps Facebook every week or so. They always sound vaguely plausible, at least upon first glance and without a close inspection. The latest in this line of semi-believable hoaxes is the Facebook “Gold” membership hoax. The bogus message reads:
“It’s official. Communication media. FACEBOOK has just published its price. fee of $? ($ 9.99), to become a member of ‘gold’ and keep your privacy as it is. If you paste this on your wall will be completely free. Otherwise, tomorrow all your documents can become public. Even those messages that you have deleted or photos that you have not authorized .. not cost you anything, copy and paste.”
This is really just a new version of a hoax that periodically pops up on Facebook claiming the site will soon begin charging its users for the right to log on. However, this most recent scam is particularly insidious; it ironically preys on people’s fears about Facebook privacy by claiming their info will somehow be revealed if they don’t copy and paste the message. It’s utterly ridiculous, of course (Facebook is not going to just dump all of your private information for the world to see, and if they did, copying and pasting text would certainly not be the way to stop them), but the frequency of these scams suggests that a sizable amount of people are susceptible to them. Just remember: if it looks fishy, has a strange URL, and has poor spelling and punctuation, it’s most likely a hoax or a scam.
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