SALT LAKE CITY — A message warning Facebook users to not accept a friend request from Jayden K. Smith because he's a hacker has gone worldwide. The only problem? It's a hoax.
Received by inbox, the message states: "Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received."
Dating back at least a decade, these messages aren’t the first of its kind, according to Hoax-Slayer. While the names may be switched, they all have one theme in common: They are all hoaxes.
“Jayden K. Smith” doesn’t appear to exist, according to numerous public records databases. And neither does Anwar Jitou, the name used in other recent viral social media messages.
"These types of warnings have been around long before Facebook, affecting users of now defunct services such as MSN Messenger, where users would pass on warnings of phantom Messenger hackers trying to add themselves into your contact list," ThatsNonsense reports.
“I pay these messages no mind,” Facebook user Tony DiFrancesco told KSL. “While most people who forward these messages are probably well intended, a little common sense can go a long way.”
While downloading a file containing a virus or handing over personal information, such as a password, would permit unauthorized access, simply accepting a “friend request” from strangers on Facebook doesn’t permit hacker access to your account or computer.
“Doesn’t Facebook discourage you from accepting a ‘friend request’ from someone you don’t know?” criminal defense attorney Steve Swickle told KSL. “Social media to me is private and personal. I don’t accept requests from strangers.”
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of common sense when dealing with strangers and social media. While “Jayden K. Smith” may have taken on a role larger than life on social media, the person simply doesn’t exist in real life.
Bill Lewis is principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; a solutions based professional consulting firm specializing in the discriminating individual, business or governmental entity.