Cops warn over hoax Twitter crime reports

2012-07-16 22:32

Johannesburg - Gauteng residents should not panic about crime information posted on social networks, particularly Twitter, police said on Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said information on Twitter at the weekend about a baby in a hijacked car had turned out to be false.

The registration number of the vehicle "involved" was given.

"Police acted on such information immediately and could not establish any hijacking and kidnapping of a baby," he said.

Dlamini said police interviewed the man by the name of Erick, who was named on the social network as the person to contact should anyone see "the vehicle and the child".

"He had no knowledge of such hijacking; he even told police that he switched off his phone after receiving numerous calls talking about hijacking," he said.

The allegations and the source of the information were under investigation, as no complaint had been laid with the police, Dlamini said.

He said the police had investigated a number of cases reported on social networks which had turned out to be false.

"Sending out false information about crime is a criminal act. Charges of perjury may be brought against any person distributing false information on crime," Dlamini said

  • smiley.langa - 2012-07-16 22:53

    Damn! I "RETWEETED" that message thinking it was true, I'm never going to do that again. I thought I was helping.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-07-17 10:03

      It really is very simple, only take the tweets by the SAPS seriously, not some beautyqueen123 who tweets about some crime and then says "RETWEET NOW!!" You just need to follow the same logic as a spam email...

  • Gavin - 2012-07-17 07:22

    yet another social tool/toy corrupted by a stupid human.

  • vickimaccallum - 2012-07-17 07:46

    So was Macro in Ottery really robbed or was that a hoax too?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-07-17 10:02

      Really, don't be stupid...

  • vickimaccallum - 2012-07-17 07:46

    So was Macro in Ottery really robbed or was that a hoax too?

  • Johannes Petrus Kemp - 2012-07-17 09:43

    i also retweeted and broadcasted a similar incident involving a polo that turned out being a hoax, have not retweeted or broadcasted any such incidents again. Maybe it is a clever crimanal trying to discredit these methods in order to persue its own agenda. Anyway it worked, when i see such notifications now i tend to think its a hoax and automatically discredit it as such and do not respond in any manner. Question is what if such a incident is reported how should we react.

  • John - 2012-07-17 21:15

    PERJURY is making a false statement while under OATH. \r\nCops must cease making stupid threats.

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