Police say an old hoax is once again doing the rounds on social media. The message is in the form of a photo of what looks like a newspaper advertisement. It falsely purports to be from the police, using the SAPS logo among other things.
The hoax warns of a supposed scam involving a child standing on the road crying and asking to be taken to a particular address where, according to the false warning, the good Samaritan will become the victim of a crime. It also warns against accepting free key holders at service stations, claiming that these contain tracking devices that are then used to locate you.
SAPS Crime Intelligence Officer Captain Milanda Coetzer said the hoax had been running since 2011, with different contact references.
“It has been confirmed as a hoax more than once by the National SAPS spokesperson on Twitter,” Coetzer said. “The first time was on 10 February 2015.”
Coetzer urged members of the public not to forward or reshare warnings that do not come directly from the police. He recommended that members of the public use fact-checking websites such as www.hoax-slayer.com and www.snoopes.com in the first instance.
If you are still not sure, call or message Coetzer on 082 529 4950.
Here is the false hoax warning that is once again being circulated: