Facebook hoax: ATTENTION ALL GIRLS AND LADIES

Summary:Scammers are pushing a sick hoax on Facebook, trying to get users of the service to warn each other about a new way to lure women into being kidnapped and raped. The story is fake.

Facebook users are inadvertently spreading a hoax on the social network, encouraging each other to share a fake story. This one claims women can avoid being kidnapped and raped by violent gang members if they avoid children who pretend to be lost. If often comes attached with an image of a young woman gagged and tied up in the trunk of a car. While these people likely have good intentions, the truth is that this story is baseless.

This version says something along the lines of:

ANYONE WHO DISAGREE'S WITH ANY KIND OF RAPE COPY 'N' PASTE THIS MESSAGE + GET YOUR FRIEND'S TO DO THE SAME ATTENTION ALL GIRLS AND LADIES: if you walk from home, school, office or anywhere and you are alone and you come across a little boy crying holding a piece of paper with an address on it, DO NOT TAKE HIM THERE! Take him straight to the police station for this is the new 'gang' way of rape. The incident is getting worse. Warn your families and friends. Repost this so this message can get across...

This one sounds like it has sources, but of course it doesn't:

Sheriffs Department Warning!

This is from the County Sheriffs Department, please read this message very carefully:

This message is for any lady who goes to work, college or school or even Driving or walking the streets alone. If you find a young person crying on the road, who shows you their address and is asking you to take them to that Address, take that child to the POLICE STATION!!

No matter what you do, DON'T go to that address. This is a new way for gang members (MS13) to rape women.

Please forward this message to all ladies & guys so that they can inform their sisters & friends and family. Please don't feel shy to forward this message. Our 1 message may save a life.

Published by CNN & FOX NEWS (Please circulate)..

**Please DO NOT IGNORE! Thank you!

Another one reads as follows:

This message is for every Girl Who Goes to college or office alone.If u find any child carrying on road showing his/her address n asking u to take him/her to that address,take that child to police station n plz don’t take it to that address . IT IS A NEW WAY GANGS TO STEAL,RAPE and KIDNAP GIRLS .plz circulate to all .don’t feel shy to copy This as ur status. OUR ONE MESSAGE MAY SAVE A GIRL

Here's one that just warns everyone:

This message is for every man, boy, woman or girl who goes to work, college or school alone. If you find a child crying on the road showing his/her address and asking you to take him/her to that address, immediately take that child to the police station, please DO NOT take the child to the address that he/she asks! This is a new way to gang rape women and girls, rob and kill men and boys. Please forward this message to all your contacts!! Please don't feel shy forwarding this message, one message may save many lives!

Another:

ATTENTION:~messageforall girls especially for those who usuallygo to work,college orschool ALONE: IF u find a CHILD crying onthe road showing his/herADDRESS &requesting u to take them there,PLEASE take themto...POLICE STATION!! DON`T FOLLOW THE ADDRESS GIVEN , this is a new way of gang members to rape females.DO copy & paste. this to your wall, inform your friends andfamily members. Make them alert

One more:

FEMALES BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!. If u find a child cryin on the road/street showing there address and asking u to take them home, DONT DO IT! Instead take them to the police station or ring the police. What ever u do don`t go to the address. This is a new way for gang members to rape female`s. Its already happend in leeds s......o don`t let it happen to u,

Okay, last one:

MESSAGE FROM MANCHESTER POLICE.Read this carefully.Every femalewho goes 2 work,college or school alone,If u find a child crying on the road,showing his/her address and asks u 2 take themthere,DONT!!! Instead take them to the nearest police station orring the police.DO...NOT go 2 that address.This is a new way forgang members 2 rape females. Its already happened in Leeds.Forward this message 2 all females!!

This story and all its variations are false, according to both Hoax-Slayer and Snopes. In fact, this warning started circulating on the Internet, via e-mail, social media posts, and phone text messages, way back in March 2005, long before Facebook was popular.

There is no evidence whatsoever that supports the claims in the warning message. Despite the claim that the warning was aired on news websites, there are no reports about crimes that use such a modus operandi in any credible news publications. None of the versions specify a location or date for these alleged attacks because those who created the hoax want it to spread around the world and for a long time.

As a general word of caution, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Also, don't blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend's status tells you to do so. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax become more popular on the social network.

See also:

Topics: Collaboration

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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