A text has been circulating nationwide warning people to stay away from Walmart. So far this hoax has reached every state including Hawaii.
“Do not go to any wal-mart tonight. Gang initiation to shoot three women tonight. not sure which walmart, but please pass it on.”
This type of hoax feeds off of people’s fears. The purpose of a hoax like this is to cause widespread panic to as many people as possible. Similar to a virus, the message reaches millions of people. In this case, the message itself is the infection. This is considered social engineering, where a person or group manipulates individuals on a large scale.
There has been examples in the past of emails being sent to the public warning of a really bad virus that is out. The email tells the recipient to shut down their computer and unplug it from the internet. The email contains no virus but individuals will voluntarily forward the email to people they know which will further spread fear of a threat that does not exist. Disruptions ensues when people or businesses take their systems or networks offline scared of a problem that does not exist.
Whether it is a text or email, it is not recommended to forward the message on to others as this helps spread the fear.
- By Todd Kingman the Ring Leader at SuperGeeks