Email and BlackBerry Messenger Hoax Messages – What to do!

SECURITY / 06.14.12 / tywill1

#TeamBlackBerry, I want to share some very important information with you about hoax messages that you may receive via email or while using BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™). These hoax messages are chain messages that did not originate from Research In Motion® (RIM®) and are unfortunately an industry-wide issue.

Any messaging or social messaging app on any platform, mobile or PC can be used in an attempt to convince users to forward hoax messages to one or more of their contacts. If you receive a hoax message, we recommend that you ignore these messages and do not forward them, because this only helps to expand their reach.

For example, a commonly seen hoax message is one that states that in order to keep your BBM account, you must re-broadcast the hoax message you received over BBM to all of your BBM contacts. I can confirm that you will NEVER need to re-broadcast a message to retain your BBM account. To see an example of this hoax, scroll down to the end of this post.

Another example of hoax messages that you should ignore are any messages sent via email or BBM that claim you’ve won a contest (unless you have entered said contest and provided the person or company running the contest with your email address or BBM contact information and you’ve verified that the message received is legitimate). Most of the time, these ‘You’ve Won A Contest’ messages are randomly sent by untrustworthy parties attempting to collect your personal information or worse. To see an example of this type of hoax message, scroll down to the end of this post.

If you receive a message stating you’ve won a contest and you are not sure if it’s a hoax, please be cautious before providing any personal information to unknown individuals using BlackBerry Messenger.

For more information on hoax messages, check out KB21856 – Hoax messages circulating on BlackBerry Messenger.

Here are two examples of hoax messages that have been sent in the past that you can safely ignore. Keep in mind, contact information has been replaced with X’s in these examples. Another thing you’ll notice about these messages is spelling mistakes and other grammar related issues — something an official communication from RIM would never contain.

Example of a Hoax BlackBerry Messenger Message

ATTENTION: We have had an over usage of user names on Blackberry Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or blackberry will no longer recognize your pin. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of $25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation. **Please do not ignore this message**

Example of a Hoax Email Contest Notification

Valued RIM Lucky Winner,

It is our pleasure to put to you that your email has been selected alongside 5 other emails in our Global Email Promo Raffle.

You have won £75.5m in our RIM Promo Raffle. For more information on your Winning and claim, please call XXXXXXXXX: XXXXXXXXXXX or e-Mail: XXXXXX@XXXXXX.NET

Research In Motion (RIM)

Got a question about hoax messages? Got one you want to let #TeamBlackBerry know about? Leave a comment and let me know!

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