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No, people are not going door-to-door passing out masks laced with chemicals

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 10:02 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department is walking back tweets sent out Thursday night (Jan. 20), warning the public of a door-to-door robbery scheme involving face masks laced with chemicals.

In now-deleted tweets, NOPD warned of people in other cities going door-to-door handing out masks laced with chemicals that can cause loss of consciousness, leading to the victims being robbed.

NOPD said the schemers claimed to work with local government.

Now-deleted tweets warned of people going door-to-door handing out masks laced with chemicals...
Now-deleted tweets warned of people going door-to-door handing out masks laced with chemicals so they could rob victims.(Twitter)

Friday morning, NOPD tweeted that the information was “found to be unsubstantiated.”

NOPD apologized for sending out tweets warning people of a fake door-to-door face mask robbery...
NOPD apologized for sending out tweets warning people of a fake door-to-door face mask robbery scheme.(Twitter)

There are no such reports of actual crimes of this nature being committed in New Orleans.

The viral social media posts, claiming to be a police bulletin, began circulating in March and early April of 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 2020 Snopes article.

A snippet of a bogus bulletin warning people of a door-to-door robbery scheme where thieves...
A snippet of a bogus bulletin warning people of a door-to-door robbery scheme where thieves would pass out face masks laced with chemicals.(Facebook)

In at least one version of the vague hoax post, the information claimed to come from police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, prompting officials there to decry the posts.

The Pine Bluff Police Department issued a statement on Wednesday, verifying the message was not from them and saying they are unaware of any incidents of that sort happening in Pine Bluff.

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