While I was adding new set of friends on Facebook today, I noticed a strange post on my friend’s wall. The post/message claims that Medical research Authority of the UShas found a new cancer in human beings caused by Silver Nitro oxide. It warns users not to scratch any types of scratch cards using your nail, as it contains the compound which can cause “skin cancer”.
I’m really not sure who started circulating this message, but it certainly has gone viral on Facebook, where an increasing number of users are sharing the post on their newsfeed. The message also asks the users to share it with their friends and spread the message.
Well, this is a hoax message that has been circulating on the social network. I did a bit of research on this and found out that there is no such compound called “Silver Nitro Oxide”. However, there are two chemical which have similar names – Nitrous oxide, commonly referred as laughing gas, and the other – Nitric oxide, which is a diatomic gas that plays a role as a cell signalling molecule in mammals and is also used as an intermediate in the chemical industry.
As per my knowledge, the silver foil on scratch cards is made up of Latex and not “silver nitro oxide”. According to Wikipedia, the scratch card is “a card made of paper-based card, or plastic, with hidden information printed on it, covered by an opaque substance (usually latex) that can be scratched off relatively easily, while resistant to normal abrasion.”
Furthermore, there isn’t a single source or any report that I found on the Internet about the “Medical research Authority of the US”. The closest I could find is the US based Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), however, there is no mention about the hoax on the BARDA website.
It’s quite annoying to see users on Facebook blindly copy-pasting or “sharing” fake messages without even having it verified whether it is true or not.
What you should do?
It is always good to verify messages like this before you re-post it on Facebook or elsewhere. If you’re not sure about the message, then the best thing to do is to ignore or delete it. Scammers create such fake messages in order to scare users, and trick them to re-post it.
How to Identify Messages Like This and Avoid Them?
I recommend you to go through the official document released by Facebook called Guide To Facebook Security, which will definitely help you tackle scam messages. The document is available for free and you can download a copy of it from the Facebook Security Page. We have also compiled a list of Most Actively Spreading Scams on Facebook that you might want to have a look at.
We constantly report scams and hoax messages that are spreading on Facebook. You can always stay updated by bookmarking this link – Techie-Buzz.com/scams
Rest assured, you can continue scratching :P