According to messages circulating rapidly via social media and SMS, people should stay away from Sydney on Christmas and New Years Eve due to a possible terror attack.
The messages claim that a man found a wallet with a sizable amount of cash inside and returned it to its Muslim owner. Supposedly, to show gratitude for the wallet’s return, the owner warned the man that he should not go near Sydney on New Year’s Eve or ‘maybe Christmas’.
In the wake of the December 2014 Sydney hostage attack, the messages are causing great concern as they travel.
However, NSW Police have dismissed the warning as a hoax, noting in a December 16 Facebook post:
A hoax is circulating about a wallet being found and a person who comes to collect the wallet warning about ‘something bad’ happening in #Sydney on New Year’s Eve or Christmas. Police have received no such reports. We believe the message has been designed to create fear in the community. Please share this hoax alert – don’t share the hoax. Anyone who has information about possible signs of terrorism in Australia is urged to call the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00.
Spreading these false warnings will do nothing more than increase fear and alarm in the Australian community. If you receive one of these hoax messages, please do not share it with others. And please let the poster know that the warning is a hoax.
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!