Killer Biscuit Hoax
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Killer ‘Crunches’ Biscuits Warning is a Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Circulating social media message warns you not to buy or eat any biscuits called ‘crunches’ because they contain a poisonous chemical that has already killed 45 people in South Africa.

Brief Analysis

The claims in the warning are utter nonsense and sharing the post will help nobody. There are no credible reports about such poisoned biscuits or of any ‘crunches’ biscuit related deaths in South Africa or elsewhere. The fake warning is just a mutated version of an earlier hoax that falsely claimed that a brand of bottled water called ‘DEW’ contained a poisonous chemical that had killed a number of people.

Example

Hi, pls pass this to your friends on your contact list -Just got dis Please, don’t buy or eat any biscuits called crunches. Customs says it was shipped into Nigeria from South Africa where it has killed 45 people. It is said to contain a poisonous chemical. Please pass this on and save millions. If u don’t believe check google for more details “crunches biscuits” Save lives as I just saved yours.

 

Detailed Analysis

According to a would-be warning message that is circulating rapidly via social media, you should not buy or eat any biscuits called ‘crunches’ because the product contains a deadly chemical that has already killed 45 people in South Africa. Supposedly, the biscuits have been shipped into Nigeria from South Africa. It urges you to pass on the information, thereby saving millions of lives. The message also suggests that you ‘check google for more details’ if you do not believe the claims.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. No South African killer biscuits have been shipped to Nigeria or anywhere else. And despite the suggestion that you search Google for more information,  there are in fact no credible news or police reports about such a contamination, nor is there any information about the supposed South African deaths described in the message.


In fact, the message is just an updated version of earlier hoaxes that named other – supposedly poisonous – products.  As the following example shows, the post is clearly derived from a 2011 hoax message that falsely claimed that DEW bottled water was killing people:

Please,don’t buy or drink any bottled water called “DEW”. Customs says it was shipped into Nigeria from Tanzania where it has killed 180 people and now finding its way into south africa. It is said to contain ebola. Please pass this on and save millions. If u don’t believe check google for “DEW bottled water.

And, a more recent version of the hoax warning falsely claimed that it was ‘Bompie’ juice that was killing consumers:

Please don’t buy or drink any plastic frozen juice called ‘Bompie. Customs says it was shipped into Ghana from Nigeria where it has killed 180 people. It is said to contain a poisonous chemical. Please pass this on and save millions. If u don’t believe check google for “Bompie frozen juice” Save lives as I just saved yours.

It seems that, from time to time, some heinous prankster decides to create a new version of the hoax that warns about some other product and launches it anew.

If these contaminated products were really killing large numbers of people, news outlets and health organisations around the world would have published information about them. And, of course, the poisonous products would have been long since recalled and removed from store shelves.

Spreading these absurd warnings serves only to spread fear and alarm in communities. If you receive one of these hoax messages, do not share it and let the person who posted it know that the claims are untrue.


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