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updated 4/8/2011 4:21:47 PM ET 2011-04-08T20:21:47

Despite the best efforts of online scammers — and the dreams of its competitors — Facebook is not closing today.

A scam is currently spreading through Facebook, hitting accounts with a prophetic message that the social networking giant is shutting its doors, the security firm Sophos reported.

“Facebook is closing all accounts today. They can’t handle so many accounts,” the message reads. “Most of the old accounts are not active, so they are deleting everything.”

Then comes the bait: In order to make sure your account stays alive, the message informs users they must confirm they are active Facebook users, otherwise their account will be automatically trashed.

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Users who choose to click the link to protect their (already safe) accounts are redirected to a rogue third-party app that tries to access users’ account information, including names, pictures and user IDs.

While many Facebook regulars would (hopefully) be savvy enough to avoid this lure, there are sure to be some victims whose social networking addiction, and the fear of losing their online social circles, will get the best of them.

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“The sad thing is that there are many Facebook users who can be fooled by a cunning piece of social engineering like this, as their addiction to the world’s most popular social networking outweighs their skepticism about Facebook killing off accounts,” Sophos’ Graham Cluley wrote.

If you think you’ve seen this cam before, you have. The very same scam made its way around Facebook in the beginning of February.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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