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Australian Terrorist Attack Warning Hoaxes

by Brett M. Christensen

November 2005:

A number of emails and text messages warning about impending terrorist attacks are currently circulating in Australia. None of the messages that I have seen cite credible sources nor are they backed up by police warnings or mainstream media reports.

The NSW police have issued a statement cautioning the public against taking the messages seriously. Part of the statement is included below:

The alleged threats have been investigated by NSW Police and other authorities and found to be baseless, unsubstantiated and without foundation.

A determination has been made regarding these text messages and emails and they are regarded by authorities as little more than the equivalent of “chain mail.

In the event that any information relating to a possible terrorist attack was assessed by the NSW Police as credible, be assured those affected would be advised by the NSW Police”
If you receive a warning about an impending terrorist attack via email or text, it is very important that you check the veracity of the information before sending it to others. Hoax warnings such as these tie up the resources of police and government agencies. They also spread unnecessary fear and alarm in a community that may already be apprehensive about potential terrorist activities. Furthermore, such false warnings can lessen the impact of legitimate warnings that may be issued in the future.

Again, it is vital that you check the truth of terrorist related “warning” messages before you forward them. Such messages are certainly not harmless. The majority of recipients will forward such misinformation in good faith. However, especially with regard to important issues such as terrorist warnings, it is the responsibility of the recipient to check the veracity of information before spreading it to others. Indeed, there are harsh penalties in place for those who knowingly spread fear and alarm by perpetrating hoaxes.
References:
NSW Police: Police warn public over hoax emails and text messages
Police warn of terror hoaxes
Sydney bomb threats a hoax: Police


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer