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Claims that women have died after inhaling poison perfume samples sent in the mail are untrue
In fact, these warnings are nothing more than revamped versions of a tired old hoax that first began circulating back in 2001. As the following example, which was taken from an emailed version of the hoax submitted in 2002, illustrates, the wording of the hoax has hardly changed in years:
Recently, an email and short message service (SMS) has been circulating amongst members of the public pertaining to a poisonous perfume sample which caused the death of seven women upon inhalation and exposure. It was purportedly sent by a person who claimed to be an employee of Gleneagles Hospital Limited, on behalf of the hospital, in order to warn the public as these seven women were supposedly admitted and treated at Gleneagles Hospital.
We understand the panic and mystification that this email has caused and the public's need to seek verification and consolation from a reliable medical institution such as ours. Thus, we would like to highlight that we have never admitted or treated such patients and have never been aware of such incidences. We would also like to categorically state that this email did not originate from our Hospital and / or any of our employees, current or otherwise. In addition, we declare that no one was ever at any time commissioned or authorised by the Hospital to deliver and circulate such warnings.
IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 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!A version collected in early 2009, is again almost identical. This version tacks on the erroneous information about Gleneagles Hospital:
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.
SEND THIS TO ALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
URGENT NEWSThese hoax messages are loosely related to a long-running urban legend that falsely claims that criminals are using ether disguised as perfume in order to abduct females from parking lots.
News from Gleneagles Hospital URGENT !!!!!
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. They will not announce it on the news because they do not want to create panic or give the terrorists new ideas. Send this to all your friends and family members.
Gleneagles Hospital Limited
Human Resource Department
Last updated: August 9, 2013