Have you had a friend request from Jayden K Smith?

A typical message warning you not to accept Jayden K Smith’s Facebook request.
A typical message warning you not to accept Jayden K Smith’s Facebook request. Supplied

DID you get a friend request from a Jayden K Smith? No, not Will Smith's son, that would be Jaden Smith.

Globally, Facebook and Twitter users have been sent into a frenzy being warned not to accept an unsolicited friend request from the outgoing Mr Smith.

Millions of people have received Facebook messages from their real friends warning about this new fake friend. Far from being your gregarious new online pal, Mr Smith is actually a hacker, users have been warned.

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"Please tell all the contacts in your Messenger list, not to accept Jayden K Smith friendship request," the often forwarded and usually identical message reads.

"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."

So who is Jayden K Smith and is he, parasite like, going to suck away all your personal information, back accounts and mortgage repayment information simply for accepting his friend request? Well, probably not. But maybe. The jury is decidedly out.

It turns out, though, that very few people have actually got a friend request from Jayden, but many more have passed on a message warning people about the request. It's actually the message which is the scam - although harmless - rather than the probably mythical friend request.

What's for sure is that it's not a new warning. While, for the last few days, we've been warned about a Jayden K Smith, in the past we've also been cautioned not to accept friend requests from "Anwar Jitou", "Bobby Allen", "Linda Smith" and even the rather vague sounding "Maggie from Sweden". I mean, who doesn't know a Maggie from Sweden?

Myth-busting website Snopes said not to fear and it's a "long running hoax"

"Variants of these messages are circulated endlessly, with different names swapped in and out.

"The most common variant of this hoax is one that warns the reader not to accept Facebook friend requests from 'hackers' purportedly named 'Christopher Davies' and 'Jessica Davies,' otherwise one of the two will wreak some unspecified havoc."

As to whether it's dangerous, it's generally thought not. Simply accepting a friend request is a relatively inefficient way of delivering a virus or other IT nasty. Fooling people into opening a rogue email attachment works far better.

But there's no guarantees, states Snopes.

Spare a moment for the real Jayden K Smith’s of the world today.
Spare a moment for the real Jayden K Smith’s of the world today. Supplied

"It's not outside the realm of possibility that an e-mail message or a link posted on Facebook might carry a virus payload which could infect your computer and allow it be controlled by a botnet, but virus warnings that correspond to the patterns detailed above can be safely dismissed as japes."

Spare a thought for the various genuine Jayden K Smiths of the world. It's not been a good few days.

They've not been sending out any random friend requests but have been getting a whole lot of hate from people thinking their mateship is malicious.

"Why are people persecuting me?" said one.

So, upshot is, it's unlikely there's been any friend requests from an evil Jayden. He's fake. But there's been far more messages from well-meaning friends clogging up your inbox warning you of something that doesn't exist.

Topics:  editors picks facebook hoax social media

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