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Issue 80 - March 2008 - Page 11

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Postcard Image Virus Hoax
  2. Pay Up or I'll Kill You Scam Email
  3. Bacteria on Restaurant Lemon Slices Warning
  4. Water Bottle Car Fire Warning
  5. Fake Microsoft Critical Update
  6. Shark's Love for Man Hoax
  7. Cancer Info From Johns Hopkins Hoax Email
  8. Christian the Lion Email
  9. PayPal New Security Message Phishing Scam
  10. K-9 Congressional Medal of Honor Hoax
  11. Cell Phone Gun Warning
  12. 359lb Louisiana Grouper
  13. Ahmad Khaled Abu Rumman Make-A-Wish Foundation Hoax
  14. Barack Obama Endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan Hoax
  15. Telstra Free Directory Assistance Protest Email

Issue 80 Start Menu

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Cell Phone Gun Warning

Summary:
Email warns that guns disguised as cell phones have been discovered and that the devices may pose a security threat at high risk locations such as airports.

Status:
True

Example:(Submitted, February 2008)
Subject: Cell phone gun Read Before Watching - Scary!

Most see airport security as a pain. Some feel violated. When you watch this clip, you'll understand why they want your cell phone through the x-ray machine. If you get asked to test your cell phone at the airport, this is the reason. Cell phone guns have arrived. They are real. The attached video clip shows how cell phone guns operate. These phones are not in the U.S. yet, but they are in use overseas.

Beneath the digital phone face is a .22 caliber handgun capable of firing four rounds in rapid succession using the standard telephone keypad. European law enforcement officials are stunned by the discovery of these deadly decoys. They say phone guns are changing the rules of engagement in Europe. Only when you have one in your hand do you realize that they are heavier than a regular cell phone.

Be patient if security asks to look at your cell phone or turn it on to show that it works. They have a good reason!

Now, click on the attachment

(Note: The email arrives with the following video as an attached file)





Commentary:
According to this warning message, .22 caliber handguns that look like cell phones have been discovered by law enforcement officials in Europe. An apparently authentic video clip of a cell phone gun being fired is commonly included with the email as an attachment. The message notes that such guns can fire up to four rounds by pressing numbers on the cell phone keypad.

Guns like the one described in the message are certainly real. However, they are not a new development. Reports of cell phone guns go back to at least the year 2000. The video clip of a cell phone gun in action, and several different versions of the warning email, have also been circulating for several years.

The video was shown as part of a WCBSTV news report in May 2006. According to the accompanying article on the WCBSTV website, New York City police were warned to keep an eye out for the cell phone guns via an internal memo. Cell phone guns have several times been the subject of security alerts in the United States and elsewhere. A 2004 article in Time magazine notes that screening equipment at airports is normally able to detect cell phone guns and other such devices. Cell phone guns are considerably heavier than normal cell phones.

A cell phone gun could certainly kill or seriously injure someone. However, a CNN report about the weapons notes that they are "extremely inaccurate" and therefore effective only at very close range.

Although cell phone guns are real, I could find no reports of the devices actually being used in major crimes such as attempted hijackings or terrorist activities. However, there have been several reports of cell phone guns being seized from criminals in Europe.

The concept of disguising guns as everyday items is actually nothing new. For many years, guns and other weapons have been disguised to look like pens, calculators, cameras, canes and a number of other commonplace objects.

References:
Guns disguised as mobile phones
NYPD On The Look Out For Cell Phone Guns
Cell-Phone Guns Security Alerts
Bond-style mobile phone-guns seized
Smart crooks carry mobile phone guns

Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 80 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Postcard Image Virus Hoax
  2. Pay Up or I'll Kill You Scam Email
  3. Bacteria on Restaurant Lemon Slices Warning
  4. Water Bottle Car Fire Warning
  5. Fake Microsoft Critical Update
  6. Shark's Love for Man Hoax
  7. Cancer Info From Johns Hopkins Hoax Email
  8. Christian the Lion Email
  9. PayPal New Security Message Phishing Scam
  10. K-9 Congressional Medal of Honor Hoax
  11. Cell Phone Gun Warning
  12. 359lb Louisiana Grouper
  13. Ahmad Khaled Abu Rumman Make-A-Wish Foundation Hoax
  14. Barack Obama Endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan Hoax
  15. Telstra Free Directory Assistance Protest Email