Facebook users are warning each other that the service will soon start charging its members “due to the upcoming profile changes.” This is an old hoax being reused again: Facebook changes its profiles often enough that scammers can use the same message every year. Last year this scam showed up in September; this year it’s October.
As you can see in the image above, courtesy of Sophos, the “advice” comes a message like this one:
FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT. IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON…
Many scams have claimed Facebook will ask you to pay in one form or another, but they’re all bogus. This is a hoax; Menlo Park will never ask you to pay to use its service.
Don’t believe me? Facebook says so itself on the website’s homepage. If you’re logged in, you’ll have to log out to see the message: “It’s free and always will be.” The company also says so on its Help Center: “We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.”
Facebook may not be doing so well on the stock market, but the company is still raking in billions of dollars every year. Suddenly charging users to access the site would be business suicide.
As a general word of caution, don’t trust everything you read on the Internet; that includes Facebook. Also, don’t blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend’s status tells you to. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax go viral on the social network and scamming even more people.
Image credit: Simon Smetryns