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Saturday

Oh boy, that "free key holder" hoax circulating again, this time in WhatsApp!

Rumors don't die do they? Even when debunked, it only takes one person believing the hype, -- not carefully thinking through or questioning the message -- to start to spread the information to social groups. And since we live in a time of social media, misinformation spreading like wildfire is commonplace. Case in point, the "free key holder" email that some of us saw back in 2008, did you receive it in WhatsApp? I did. It reads as follows: 



Information reaching Police indicates that: There is a syndicate of criminals selling beautiful key holders at Public Places, Airports, Petrol Stations. They sometimes parade themselves as sales promoters giving out free key holders. Please do not buy or accept these key holders no matter how beautiful they look.The key holders have inbuilt tracking device chip which allows them to track you to your home or wherever your car is parked. The key holders are very beautiful to resist. Accepting same may endanger your life. All are therefore requested to pass this message to colleagues, family members and loved ones. Be on guard.
Alert everyone.
Thanks & Regards
Various myth debunking discussion groups have long laid it to rest; For example Hoax-Slayer after a lengthy explanation concludes as follows,
In any case, it is difficult to see why criminals would go to such elaborate lengths when they could simply follow their chosen targets home or hijack their vehicles directly without all the fuss and bother. It seems absurd to suggest that criminals would go to the considerable time and expense of randomly distributing sophisticated tracking devices to motorist when such a scheme would ultimately be of very little benefit to their nefarious activities.
But I guess some of us tend to forget a lot, or were late to join the internet or the younger generation is catching up, or some people are just trolls... whatever the reason, let's learn to search or ask for veracity of information before forwarding a false warning and fuel unnecessary fear.

Will you be surprised to see this hoax circulating again three years from now? I bet you won't. 

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