Were you planning to go to the mall on Halloween? But not now, because a certain letter has appeared in your e-mail inbox, and you’re afraid?
If so, you’ve been frightened by what the FBI says is just the latest in a series of internet rumors.
Maybe these rumors are part of a plot to spread yet more terror, but more likely they’re the work of malicious individuals.
This latest example appears to have been originally sent by an employee of Volt Information Services in Orange, California. The employee, Laura Katsis, seems to have sent the letter to 15 friends. Since then, it has spread like a prairie fire across the internet.
Volt Information Services has been overwhelmed with calls for Ms. Katsis, whose telephone number was included in the e-mail. A spokesperson for Volt said that Ms. Katsis was unavailable for comment.
This is the text of the message, as it might appear in your inbox:
“I got this from my cousin….. Hi All – I think you all know that I don’t send out hoaxes and don’t do the reactionary thing and send out anything that crosses my path. However, this is a friend of a friend and I’ve given it enough credibility in my mind that I’m writing it up and sending it out to all of you. My friend’s friend was dating a guy from Afghanistan up until a month ago. She had a date with him around 9/6 and was stood up. She was understandably upset and went to his home to find it completely emptied. On 9/10, she received a letter from her boyfriend explaining that he wished he could tell her why he had left and that he was sorry it had to be like that. The part worth mentioning is that he BEGGED her not to get on any commercial airlines on 9/11 and to not to go any malls on Halloween. As soon as everything happened on the 11th, she called the FBI and has since turned over the letter. This is not an email that I’ve received and decided to pass on. This came from a phone conversation with a long-time friend of mine last night. I may be wrong, and I hope I am. However, with one of his warnings being correct and devastating, I’m not willing to take the chance on the second and wanted to make sure that people I cared about had the same information that I did.”
The FBI has described the letter as “not a credible threat.” Why? They aren’t saying, but it would be a simple matter of checking out the line “she called the FBI and has since turned over the letter.” Obviously, they have received no such call, or investigated the letter and found it not to be credible.
To keep up with post-911 hoaxes, visit Snopes2.com, which is attempting to keep track of them. Urbanlegends.com is also an excellent place to go to cross-check your e-mail.
Insight: Unknowncountry.com gets around 30,000 e-mails a month, most of them for Whitley and Anne. Along with a ton of wonderful, supportive mail from good people, we get every virus, every hoax and every imaginable kind of hate mail. When we see letters like this, we follow up. All forwarded post 911 scare stories have been hoaxes. So, if you get one that concerns you, start by taking rational steps to check it out at Snopes and Urbanlegends.
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