As you surely know by now, Facebook is a favorite hangout for scammers, tricksters and hoaxers. And as luck would have it, there’s another hoax making the rounds as I speak.
To be honest, I didn’t even know about this hoax until this morning. I actually discovered it while working on a blog post.
Within about a 5 minute time frame I received Facebook messages from 7 different friends warning me not to “accept” a video titled “Sonia Disowns Rahul” because it was a virus that would “format” my mobile device.
Here’s the exact text of the message I received:
Tell all contacts from your list not to accept a video called the “Sonia disowns Rahul”. It is a virus that formats your mobile. Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on the radio. Fwd this msg to as many as you can!
While it’s certainly true that clicking on links and images on Facebook can infect your computer or mobile device with a virus, the wording of this one sounded familiar so I decided to do a little checking around.
I quickly learned that this “Sonia Disowns Rahul” warning message is a hoax that mimics an older viral hoax titled “Dance of the Pope”. In reality the “virus” is the warning message itself since it becomes viral after countless Facebook users forward it to all their friends.
Luckily, this hoax appears to be no more dangerous than any other text message, but it certainly is annoying!
Bottom line: While hoaxes usually aren’t dangerous like viruses and phishing emails are, they can cause your Facebook friends to worry needlessly and add to the deluge of messages they receive every day.
My recommendation is to simply avoid clicking on anything you see on Facebook unless you know beyond a doubt that it is legit. That way you can stay safe without falling for hoaxes like this one.
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