Dollar Bill Used for Car Jacking Attacks? - Internet/Facebook Rumour
Please beware that my daughter was coming out of the West York Wal-Mart tonight and as she was walking to her car she noticed that a couple of guys were watching her, she got into her car and locked her doors. As she was leaving she saw what appeared to be a $100.00 dollar bill on her windshield, she was smart enough not to get out of her car at the time because she remember a e-mail that I sent her not that long ago about people putting something on the windshield and when the person gets out to retrieve it they are car jacked, or worse kidnapped, raped, murdered or????
Heres a pic of the fake money....be careful.
This warning message which is circulating Facebook warns readers that carjacking thieves are using fake money attached to a car windshield in order to lure an unsuspecting victim out of their car and thus making them vulnerable to carjacking attacks.
The message appears to be another variant of this hoax that substitutes the fake money with pieces of paper and stickers.
And just like that hoax we cannot find any evidence or reliable sources to confirm or verify that any attacks using this modus operandi are actually occuring. Just like previous versions of this hoax there have been no reports from national or local news outlets describing this type of attack and different variants claim this is happening in different parts of the world.
What makes this story even less believable is that the fake dollar bill pictured above is actually not a fake dollar bill at all, rather a dollar bill advertisement "flyer". Such flyers are often attached to the windshields of parked cars as a part of marketing campaigns for companies. You can clearly see America is spelt incorrectly (AmeriDa, referring to a popular SNL skit) and through the paper you can see the word "Text" along with other marketing lingo. See here for examples of the flyers.
Of course one could speculate that someone - after reading the fake warning we linked to above - entered their car, saw the perfectly harmless flyer attached to their windshield and wrongfully assumed that they were a probable target to this non-existent type of attack.
It also does not help when media outlets help spread this fear-mongering nonsense by echoing hearsay, like this ABC-GO report that even concedes there have been no police reports matching this description, yet bizarrely dedicate a news segment to it anyway.
Either way, we do not recommend circulating this message. It is unlikely that this method of carjacking would ever be remotely prolific since it relies on several risky assumptions for it to be successful. For example it relies on a victim not seeing the attached "money" on their windshield before entering their car, it relies on the victim seeing the "money" before they set off, it relies on the victim willing to get out of their car to remove the "money" and it also requires an attacker to lay in wait for a victim to return for an indefinite amount of time. These factors would strongly suggest that this type of attack would be inefficient and rarely, if at all, employed. Taking this into account along with the fact that we have seen no legitimate warnings about this attack, it is not recommended to circulate this message.
Whilst it is always recommended to be vigilant when entering or exiting your car, passing around false warnings that do not appear to be occurring is simply counterproductive. If you want to help your friends and online contacts when it comes to carjacking, the best way to do this is to circulate genuine tips and advice that focus on real threats, not imaginary ones, like these tips from CrimeStoppers UK.
The Internet, and social networking sites like Facebook, are perfect platforms for spreading untruths, misinformation, rumor and propaganda. Thousands of inaccurate, exaggerated, deceptive or just plain false messages are circulated every single day.
For the anti-scam community to successfully tackle this plethora of false rumours, it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.
We have a two part blog post that helps provide this information. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.
Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here.