A ‘warning’ circulating via social media websites and text messages claims that members of the terror group Isis are going door to door in Australia with a view to ‘marking’ Christian homes.
The claims in the message are false. Australian police have dismissed the warning as a hoax. There are no credible news or police reports about such activities. Spreading such false rumours causes fear and alarm in communities, wastes police time, and makes it less likely that genuine threats will be taken seriously. If you receive this false message, please do not pass it on to others.
URGENT: Please pass. This on to everyone you know – especially those in the Revesby Padstow area as they are doing this right now TODAY.
There are members if Isis going door knocking on homes. They greet you with ‘Salam Alaykom’, and then pretend they are trying to collect money for orphans. They come with a black folder and ask you if you want to donate. I have just had one approach me at home just 2 hours ago. Please – do NOT Talk to them or open for them.
They are marking Christian homes. Please spread the word (not on Facebook) but via private texting or viber.
Warning Message Claims Isis Members Knocking On Australian Doors
According to a would-be warning message that is going viral via social media and text message, members of the terror group Isis are going door to door in Australian communities with sinister intent.
The message claims that the Isis members are posing as charity collectors for an orphanage but their real motive is to identify and mark the homes of Christians.
The message names several Sydney suburbs in which the group has supposedly been active.
Message Dismissed as a Hoax By Australian Police
However, the claims in the message are false. No such activity is taking place. New South Wales police have dismissed the warning is a hoax.
A report about the false warning in the Guardian notes:
New South Wales police have been moved to reassure Australians that text messages claiming members of Islamic State (Isis) are knocking on people’s doors and marking Christian houses are a hoax, as concerns grow about the threat the extremist group poses.
And, NSW Police have posted the following message on Twitter, along with a screen capture of the false warning message:
Pls RT – Don’t be fooled by social media myths exploiting the current political climate. #mythbuster
Furthermore, there are no credible news or police reports that support the claims in the warning in any way whatsoever.
Spreading This False Rumour Counterproductive
The current climate of fear in Australia due to Isis threats and recent terrorist activity has given undue weight to this false warning. It is perhaps understandable that people may be tricked into taking the warning seriously and sharing it via their networks.
But, in fact, sharing the message is counterproductive. Circulating the false warning will generate unnecessary fear and alarm – and increase tensions – within communities. The warning may also waste the time of law enforcement staff who must field enquiries about the supposed threat from concerned members of the public. It could also lead to unfair retaliation against innocent charity workers and door-to-door sellers. And, spreading such misinformation can make it less likely that genuine threats are taken seriously.
If you receive this hoax message, please do not share it with others. And please let the sender know that the information in the message is untrue and should not be distributed.