Police say that a hoax in the form of a text message warning women to stay away from Wal-mart because of a gang initiation requiring women to be gunned down in the Wal-mart parking lot is a hoax that has been around since at least 2005.
The text message, which reads in part “Police are asking all women not to go to any Wal-Mart tonight. There is a gang initiation and three women will be shot. This is not a joke,” ends with an exhortation to either “please forward” or “please pass to all women”.
Said a Walmart spokesperson, “The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority. We are aware of the message being circulated and are working with local authorities to enhance our security efforts at our stores in the area. While we take these types of situation seriously, we regard this as being only a rumor, much like similar rumors that have circulated via e-mail in previous years.”
The hoax, thought to have originated in Memphis, Tennessee back in 2005, most recently surface last week in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
According to St. Lucie county law enforcement, where Palm Beach Gardens is located, “Currently, there has been no information uncovered to validate the allegations. However, all three agencies will continue to work with all Wal-Mart stores within St. Lucie County to ensure the safety of all.”
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