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‘Police abduction warning’ email is a hoax

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An email purporting to be from Warwickshire Police warning women of the threat of abduction is really a hoax.

The hoax email is being circulated to women in particular, and has led to calls from worried members of the public to the central England police force from as far afield as Thames Valley and Scotland.

In a statement issued today, Warwickshire Police say that the incident described in the email is "completely fictitious". Police are appealing for people NOT to forward the email, which is headed 'Fw: a warning....', and to ignore its contents.

A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: "This is a complete hoax but has the potential to raise the fear of crime, particularly among women. It is also very damaging as it undermines the serious appeals and warnings that the police have to issue from time to time."

Email hoaxes are a commonplace (and debunked on sites like Snopes) but using fear of crime to further their spread would appear to be a new - and particular distasteful - propagation tactic. ®

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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