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Killer Text Message Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Warnings circulating in Egypt claim that people have suffered fatal brain hemorrhages after receiving a “killer” mobile phone text message from “unknown foreign quarters” containing a special combination of numbers.

Rumours about the supposed SMS death messages began circulating after some press reports claimed that a man had died in the town of Mallawi, Egypt after receiving a text that began with the symbol “+” and ended with the number “111”. According to the rumours, those who received the deadly text message first got severe headaches and then died of brain hemorrhages.
Despite the obvious absurdity of the claims, many people have apparently taken the warning seriously, and the Egyptian government has moved to quell the rumours. The health ministry issued a statement denying that any cases of such deaths had been reported and noting that the claims “contradict all scientific facts”. Reports indicate that three oil company workers were detained and interrogated for allegedly starting the rumours.

Such foolish rumours are not unprecedented. During 2007, many people in Pakistan and Afghanistan were panicked by a hoax message that warned mobile phone users that receiving calls from certain numbers could lead to fatal brain hemorrhages due to “very high wave length and frequency”. Authorities in both countries again moved quickly to dispel the rumours and four men were subsequently arrested for starting the hoax.

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,