Outline Circulating warning messages claim that seven people have died after being exposed to anthrax in packages that were disguised as Tide detergent samples sent in the mail.
Brief Analysis The claims in the warning message are untrue. The message is a new variant of an old hoax that claimed that seven people had died after sniffing perfume samples sent in the mail. Please do not send on this hoax message. Sending on such false information will serve only to raise unnecessary fear and alarm among recipients.
Anthrax poison in Tide detergent packs coming thru the mail do not open or use. 7 ppl dead already. Plz pass it on! It was on cnn today.
According to this warning message, which is circulating rapidly via text messages, social networking posts and email, seven people have died after being exposed to anthrax disguised as washing detergent powder. The message claims that the victims received the anthrax through the mail in what they believed were Tide detergent sample packs. The message claims that the story was featured on CNN and asks recipients to pass on the information to warn others of the danger. Versions of the warning have been circulating for several months.
However, the claims in the message are untrue. Nobody has died from anthrax exposure via bogus Tide detergent samples. The story was not published on CNN as claimed in the message. Nor was it included in any other credible news publications. The events described did not happen and the warning should not be taken seriously.
If the claims in the "warning" were true, then the story would be prominently featured in a great many news sources around the world. Authorities would have also issued official warnings about the threat. Instead, except for news articles dismissing the story as a hoax, the only information about the supposed deaths is contained in these vague and poorly written warning messages.
I work for the Tide brand, I can 100% confirm that the text message going around is not true. From time to time people do this kind of thing as a prank, unfortunately there is little we can do other than to share the fact that this is completely unfounded.
In fact, the warning is a revamped variant of an old hoax that began circulating more than a decade ago. The original version of the hoax falsely claimed that seven women had died after sniffing free perfume samples that they had received in the mail. The hoax also warned recipients to be careful of other mailed sample products, such as lotions and diapers. The warning suggested that the deaths may have been the result of a terrorist attack. However, as with the Tide detergent version shown above, the claims had no basis in fact whatsoever.
It seems that someone has simply taken the old "poisoned perfume" hoax and given it new life as an "anthrax disguised as detergent" warning. Unfortunately, hugely popular social networks such as Facebook make it possible for such nonsense to spread very rapidly all around the world.
Sending on this false warning will not help anyone. The spread of such hoaxes can cause unnecessary fear and alarm in communities. It can also waste the time and resources of police who must answer endless questions about such hoaxes from concerned members of the public. If you receive a copy of this hoax warning, please do not send it on to others. And please take a moment to let the sender know that the information in the message is untrue.
A copy of the original "perfume" version of the hoax:
SEVEN WOMEN HAVE DIED AFTER INHALING A FREE PERFUME SAMPLE THAT WAS MAILED TO THEM. THE PRODUCT WAS POISONOUS. IF YOU RECEIVE FREE SAMPLES IN THE MAIL SUCH AS LOTIONS, PERFUMES, DIAPERS, ETC. - THROW THEM AWAY!
THE GOVERNMENT IS AFRAID THAT THIS MIGHT BE ANOTHER TERRORIST ACT. T HEY WILL NOT ANNOUNCE IT ON THE NEWS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO CREATE PANIC OR GIVE THE TERRORISTS NEW IDEAS.