Avoid sharing bogus stories before verifying their legitimacy
Now that it’s February, scammers have started re-posting the old hoax which says that Facebook will be closed for maintenance between February 29 and 31. According to Hoax Slayer, French and English-speaking users are mainly targeted.“WARNING!! Facebook will be closed for maintenance from February 29th to 31st!! Facebook wants YOU to Share this message with at least 15 of your friends for the best chance of alerting everyone. Many people will try to log in from February 29 to 31, just to find the site closed down for those days with no warning,” reads the English variant of the hoax.
The French version reads, “Attention!! Facebook sera fermé pour maintenance du 29 au 31 février. Faites passer à vos contacts pour qu'ils soient au courant. Merci”
In this case, you can immediately determine that it’s nothing but a hoax because this February doesn’t have 29 days. Furthermore, February will never have 30 or 31 days.
Facebook’s popularity has attracted the attention of scammers and cybercriminals and such bogus stories have become highly common these days.
We’ve heard on numerous occasions that Facebook will start charging users and that Mark Zuckerberg has decided to shut down the website because he’s too stressed.
Sharing such posts without verifying the information they provide is bad not only because you contribute to spreading false news, but also because cybercriminals could also leverage such stories to spread malware or to lure users to malicious sites.
Users who are in the habit of sharing hoaxes are likely to share even more dangerous links. We’ve posted numerous advisories such as this one, but judging by the success of many cybercriminal campaigns, we still have a long way to go until everyone is aware of all the types of scams that make the rounds.