How to read CDs spreads on Bloomberg

Poisoned CDs in the mailbox: warning via Facebook - what's behind it?

For months now, Facebook and WhatsApp have repeatedly warned against “poisoned letters”. Allegedly poisoned envelopes are being distributed in letter boxes in numerous German cities and there are also said to have been victims. Sometimes you can read in the status posts about poisoned CDs that have been treated with a strange powder. Numerous users are unsettled and ask themselves: "What is it about the poisoned CDs?"

Video: This is behind hoaxes, fakes and fraud on the Internet

Social media such as Facebook or WhatApp are known for the fact that some false reports, so-called hoaxes, keep coming up. The story of the poisoned envelopes first appeared in 2016 - at that time it was still said that there were CDs in circulation that had been treated with a dangerous substance. Some time later it was said that envelopes with a white powder were sighted in various cities. Under no circumstances should the envelopes be opened, as the powder is highly toxic and could cause serious damage to health.

One of the posts with the warning:

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Poisoned envelopes: Warning on Facebook and WhatsApp is a hoax

Months later, the warning about the allegedly poisoned envelopes continued to spread on social media. Even the police have had to comment several times and make it clear that the warnings are false reports. No specific cases of mailing such an envelope have ever been reported, nor have any persons been treated for it. So it's a Misinformationas it often appears on Facebook and Co.

On the subject: False reports cause large-scale police operations

In the town of Eving near Dortmund, the warning about the poison CDs in 2016 even led to a large-scale operation by the police - this shows once again how dangerous these fake reports can be.

A woman had received the message via WhatsApp and shortly afterwards an envelope that she could not assign. Completely frightened, she took the letter to the police - and thus triggered a large-scale operation by the fire brigade and police including a decontamination tent and a locked police station. In the end, it turned out that the letter only contained cosmetics that the woman had previously ordered.

Conclusion: on social media a lot of nonsense spread. Very few disaster reports that you receive via WhatsApp, Facebook and Co. turn out to be true afterwards. You should therefore never simply spread such warnings without first checking exactly what they are about.

Poisoned CDs in the mailbox: false reports on the net

Corresponding messages warning of the poison CDs have been distributed on Facebook or with the instant messenger WhatsApp since the end of 2015. If you believe the warnings, the CDs are said to have already appeared in several German cities, including Hamburg, Cologne and Bielefeld. The reports are not entirely uniform: Sometimes it is said that the CDs are printed with Koran suras and that the Nazis are distributing them to Muslims. In other status posts it is said that there are leftists behind it, who distribute the CDs to right-wing people.

One of the warnings warns of an envelope that allegedly came from the Karl Heinz Böhm Foundation for Aid to Ethiopia. Specifically it says:

Envelopes are distributed in mailboxes. The content is a CD with songs and statements from the Koran. The CD is processed with chemical substances that paralyze the airways. Please do not open it and inform the police immediately. In Weilheim, those affected are already in the hospital. Please continue to say.

The team of the Internet watch blog then took the trouble and asked the Weilheim police about it. Result: There has not been a previously reported case in the region - so one must again assume that it is a targeted hoax acts.

Before that, an audio message was broadcast on WhatsApp warning of the poison CDs. In the message you can hear a woman uttering the following text: “Hello my dear ones. It's me. I just got that too. Should now be with us in a circle that will now be distributed in mailboxes. If you have something like that in your mailbox, please don't open it, just touch it with gloves ... ”So basically the same warnings that were initially only sent by text.

Here, too, it was a question of scaremongering, as there have so far been no confirmed cases of CDs actually treated with poison being sent. Even the Saxony police intervened and warned of relevant posts on Facebook.


Gift CDs and Co: Recognize hoaxes and fakes on Facebook

Stories like the Gift CDs keep popping up on Facebook or WhatsApp. Most of the time, these are supposedly sensational or shocking messages and warnings that should be shared with as many people as possible. This is how you recognize the typical "Facebook hoax":

  • There is no reliable source for the news and the story is mostly based on hearsay or other users who have even heard it from a “friend”.
  • The report is distributed exclusively via social media and does not appear in normal media (newspaper, TV, news websites).
  • The message warns of a specific danger to which you should actively respond.
  • You will be asked to like, share, and distribute the message.

Of course, the individual warnings sometimes differ quite clearly in terms of their content - in terms of structure, however, almost all hoax messages fall into the above grid and are usually quite easy to unmask. In general, it is advisable, especially on the Internet, to be attentive, not to believe everything you read on Facebook and Co. and, above all, not to share such reports with your friends without being checked.

Image sources: mimikama