Law Enforcement Says Text Message A Hoax

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Lauderdale County deputies are asking people to stop passing along a bogus text message.

Within the last few days, someone has been sending 'warnings' that local gangs might be trying to lure potential victims, using a doll as bait. But they say the messages are untrue.

The messages claim that gang members are placing baby dolls in child seats on the side of the road. And when a concerned driver pulls over to help, they are then attacked as part of a gang initiation.

"There has been nothing like that happening in Lauderdale County. I haven't heard of anything like that in the United States," said Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun.

A resident informed Calhoun of the text alert, saying they thought many other people had received the same text.

"I appreciate the fact that this person called the office and made us aware of the fact that this was going on in the community," said Calhoun. "But we remind people that if there is information that is true and valid, law enforcement in this community will put that out to the citizens to make them aware of it."

Calhoun says many of the text and email chains he has received have come with some good safety tips, but the panic they bring is far from good.

"If it's not information that you have validated, don't forward it on because it can create a state of panic for some people," Calhoun said.

This isn't the first time an email or text hoax has created panic among residents.

Back in March, messages went around warning women to be careful when visiting Wal-Mart. They said gang members were attacking people as part of their initiation. Those messages were also false.

"This information that goes out by text that are not official notifications should be viewed with a certain amount of scrutiny," said Calhoun. "You can call and check on it but the cases in the past have all been completely false."

Calhoun says residents should call their law enforcement agency before allowing any message to create concern or change their behavior.


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