Facebook users warned vs $9.99 'gold membership' hoax

Facebook users were warned over the weekend against a new scam claiming the social networking giant may charge a $9.99 “gold membership" unless users forward a message before midnight.

Computer security firm Sophos said the hoax has duped many users into “sharing" the message with their online friends, lest they be charged between $3.99 and $9.99 a month.

“It’s amazing what people will believe when they are sent a message from a trusted friend - but let me assure you, Facebook is *not* going to ask you for your payment when you sign onto the site tomorrow morning. And no, the announcement of Facebook beginning to charge its users has *not* been on the news," Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley said in a blog post.

Sophos said the message claims Facebook just released a “price grid" for membership, including $9.99 a month for Gold Member services, $6.99 for Silver Member services, and $3.99 for Bronze Member services.

The message claimed Facebook will continue to be free “IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT."

It also cited the message claiming the charges are “DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES" Facebook announced last week.

“As I explained at the end of last week, these claims are complete and utter poppycock. If a friend of yours forwards you the message, admonish them for spreading a chain letter and suggest they inform all of their friends that they were mistaken," Cluley said. — RSJ, GMA News