Accepting a stranger’s friend request on Facebook can cause problems, but hacking isn’t one of them.

Targeting: Social media users

What It Is: A social media hoax with no reported consequences

What It’s After: You might have already seen well-intentioned warnings about accepting a friend request from someone named Jayden K Smith (or any other specific names). The message warns users that accepting this friend request will connect your Facebook account to someone who will immediately hack into your computer.

Unfortunately, that’s not how friend requests work…or how computers work, for that matter. While social media posts have contained links that install viruses and other malicious software, there’s no threat of hacking just through a friend connection. This message is going viral and it isn’t even a scam or fraud attempt, it’s merely a hoax that someone started to laugh at other people’s gullibility.

However, it’s still not a good idea to accept friend requests from people you don’t know or have no mutual friends with. If you choose to connect with a stranger online, it’s a good idea to make sure you have friends in common and that you are very cautious about sharing information with this person.

How You Can Avoid It:

  • Try to avoid sharing hoaxes and false stories on Facebook or other sites.
  • Check out the truth behind a story before spreading it to others.
  • Be careful accepting friend requests from strangers, and safeguard your information and your posts with strict privacy settings.

Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Snopes.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.