Thursday, March 19, 2009

Updated: Local hoax? Text message about Walmart and gangs

I just received a text from a friend. It's a warning about not going to any Wal-mart tonight because of a "gang initiation" and possible violence against women. The text says it's been "verified by TV" and to "forward to all your women friends."
To me it has all the hallmarks of a hoax. Or local urban legend. Has anyone else received this text?

UPDATE: Wow, the answer to that question was YES. See the comments. My daughter called me about half an hour after I posted this; she'd gotten the text three times and their entire office was wondering about the truth of the thing.

I'd tweeted the question (follow CathyBlogs) and my fellow blogger Angry White Boy (follow angry_white_boy on Twitter) was able to confirm that it was indeed a hoax; he sent me a link to a four-year-old story on about the exactly same worded text that went around in Florida.

Certainly it's a good idea to use texting to let people know about emergencies; certainly also, that same method can be usurped for nefarious rumor mongering. At present, one must use one's own Spidey-sense to discern the difference. In the future. hopefully there'll be a better way.


  1. Anonymous3:51 PM

    i got it too!
    several times.
    i think it's a hoax, but i won't be taking any chances.

    the text also got circulated all throughout the US. sad to see how quickly a possible rumor can get sent around....

  2. karen3:58 PM

    yes i did receive it too---- hoax or not--- i am not taking any chances

  3. Anonymous4:09 PM

    I just received it as well

  4. Anonymous4:14 PM

    Today March,18 2009 I just recieved a text message saying: "Fwd: Do not go to walmart tonight,gang initiation to shoot three women. Not sure which walmart.

  5. I just received this text...couldn't find any articles about it in the paper/news, so I'm not sure how I feel about it.

  6. Anonymous4:18 PM

    I have received the same message from three different people. I'm not sure what to think, but even still, I will not be going to Walmart anytime soon.

  7. Anonymous4:22 PM

    I've received the some text. I dont think it's true

  8. Anonymous4:23 PM

    havent received a text but the whole college campus is talking about it

  9. Anonymous4:23 PM

    I received the same text. i dont think its true

  10. Anonymous4:46 PM

    yes, I to have just received it from a friend...hoax or not better safe than sorry.

  11. Two of the ladies I work with have received this text. One supposedly called the local police and it was verified to be true.

  12. I have. And, if searched online, you can find a hoax similar to this listed on Urbanlegends as of yesterday, March 18th--located out of Florida.
    =) The wonders of modern technology.

  13. Anonymous5:42 PM

    I have, twice in the past 2 hours. It's all over the internet too... it's a hoax.

  14. Anonymous5:57 PM

    I have today

  15. Anonymous9:49 PM

    i did!

  16. Anonymous4:03 PM

    well i didnt and it was on the tv down here in indianapolis. what do i think of it. i think it was better the day of the text to be safe then sorry. but, i was at walmart this morning. and i sit in my car and watched the customers go in the store. i personally think there are more women then men that shop at walmart. so if a gang (more then likely did) here of this message i would think they might try something like this perhaps in the wee hours of the morning or late night. i wont go there unless its at peek times. and if and when i do go i will have informed my daughter the old basic training manuvor drop and crawl. its sad that i am a 40plus year old women and am grateful i learn combat skills in the us army to use in my daily life. sigh, and i thought the big thing back in the 70's was when my mom said look at those women in the grocery shopping and just leaving their purses and kids in the carts ungarded. lol times are a changing. so be safe and aware of what is going on. if you see a group of young male teens black or white looking gangish and they are spliting up just be aware. they could eithor be shooting or stealing.

    just my 2 cents.


  17. Sheila7:45 PM

    My aunt called the local Walmarts here in Fort Wayne and they said they had beefed up security. (really?) They aren't taking any chances. My thing is if it weren't a hoax would Walmarts or the News really tell you it wasn't? I mean women would avoid Walmarts and that would hurt their business. Either way I am not going to live my life in fear and will shop at Walmarts. Just take note of your surroundings and what is going on. You should be doing that everywhere anyway. A none hoax that was on the news is that the police in Fort Wayne know a robber as of late has been following his victoms home from stores to rob them. Just a heads up.