Facts Check: Perfumed paper to smell offer is fake, Perfume Hoax

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Image source Social media
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Brief Outline: The message circulating via social media warns that criminals disguised as perfume sellers are using paper laced with drugs to debilitate victims and then rob them.

Facts Check: Fake

Viral news Examples: 

Hi friends,

Pls if anyone stops u in the parking lot of a mall or somewhere else and ask if u're interested in some perfume and gives u a paper to smell, pls don't smell. It's a new scam, the paper is laced with drugs. U'll pass out so they can kidnap, rob or do worse things to u.

This happened in more than 3 well known malls in Kolkata

And over 7 girls are missing

Pls forward to all friends n family. Save a life please. This was received from a  Senior police officer, take note and alert everyone u want to protect. Knowledge is power !

It can save a life !

Mahender Reddy

Commissioner of police

Other Example:

Pls, if anyone stops U and ask if u’re interested in some perfume & gives u a paper to smell, Pls DON’T! It’s a new scam, the paper is laced with drugs, U’ll pass out so they can rob you or do worse things to u. Pls forward to all friends and family. Save a life pls. This was received from a Senior Police Officer. Take note and alert everyone u want protected. This is not a joke !!!!!!

Other Example:

Guys pass this on and make sure your kids know!!! Thank you…. I just got this forwarded to me- Pls, if anyone stops you and ask if you are interested in some perfumes and gives you a paper to smell, pls don’t! It’s a new scam. the paper is laced with drugs, You will pass out so they can rob you or do worse things to you, Pls forward to all friends and the family..save a life pls. Don’t forget kids with phones!!!!! High TARGETS!!!

Other Example:

Subject: FW: PLEASE CIRCULATE…SERIOUSThis is something that happened to us on the way back from holiday last week. At first I didn’t think much of it until now. The reason we were a little suspicious is we had been riding in a jeep all day with 100 degree temps and we stopped at a truck stop for something to drink. When I was leaving, a young girl followed me out and asked what kind of cologne I was wearing. Well, after 7 hours in the car sweating, I don’t think you could tell if I was or was not wearing any cologne. We just got in the jeep and said no thanks. Then it was about 3 weeks ago, I was at a service station in Birmingham getting fuel. It was about 9:30 PM. I was approached by 2 men and 2 women in a car. The man that was driving asked me ‘What kind of perfume do you wear?’ I was a bit confused and I asked him ‘Why?’ He said, ‘We are selling some name brand perfumes at cheap prices.’ I told him I had no money. He then reached out of the car and handed me paper that was laminated; it had many perfumes on it. I looked quickly at it and gave it back. I said again that I had no money. He said, ‘That’s OK, we take check, cash, or credit cards.’ Then the people in the car began to laugh. I just got in my car and said no thanks. Then I received this e-mail yesterday and it sent chills up my spine. Please read this; it is no joke. Here is the e-mail I was sent:_____________________________________________________Dear Friends:I know not all of you are women that I am sending this to, but am hoping you will share this with your wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, etc. Be careful. I was approached yesterday afternoon around 5:30 PM in the ASDA carpark by two males asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I’d like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at very reasonable rate. I probably would have agreed had I not received an e-mail warning of a ‘Wanna smell this neat perfume?’ scam. The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, pointing at them, and told her about how I was sent an e-mail at work about someone walking up to you at the malls or in carparks and asking you to SNIFF PERFUME that they are selling at a cheap price or at least compare to which one you like best. THIS IS NOT PERFUME…IT IS ETHER! When you sniff it, you’ll pass out. They’ll take your wallet, your valuables and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably would have sniffed the ‘perfume’, but thanks to the generosity of an e-mailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me. I wanted to do the same for you.

Other Example:
PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS!!! This is happening in Tesco’s across the country!I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3:30pm in my local Tesco car park by two males, asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I’d like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at a very reasonable Price. I probably would have agreed had I not received an email a couple of days ago, warning of a ‘wanna smell this gorgeous perfume?’ scam.The men continued to stand between parked cars, I presumed to wait for someone else to try it on. I stopped a lady going towards them, pointed at them, and told her about how I was sent an e-mail at work about someone walking up to you at the shopping centre or Supermarket car parks , and asking you to SNIFF THE PERFUME that they are selling at a ridiculously cheap price.THIS IS NOT PERFUME – IT IS ETHER!When you sniff it, you’ll pass out. And they’ll take your handbag, your valuables, and car keys. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably would have sniffed the “perfume”. But thanks to the generosity of an emailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me. I wanted to do the same for you.

PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS, AND PLEASE BE ALERT, AND AWARE!!

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Facts Check Analysis: The message as circulated in the social media is not true and has been long been circulating in the Social media. The message asks people to send the warning to all of their family and friends; it also claims that the information comes from a “Senior Police Officer”.

After cross checking about Mahender Reddy and as stated Commissioner of police we did not find any information as such about Mahender Reddy. However we though find a Mahender Reddy as M. Mahendar Reddy as a 1986-batch Indian Police Service officer who is the current in-charge Director general of police of Telangana, India. He previously served as the first Police commissioner of Hyderabad after the formation of Telangana.

We did not find a single message / information from him to suggest as anything like perfumed paper.

 This is indeed very old hoax message and being run across different countries as well. The story remains unsubstantiated and may well be untrue. And no credible police or news reports about such robbery methods have been published in the years since.

Say this message has been running since 1999, if this is so there would have been many, might be over 100 of such cases until now. However we did not find a single cases around the world. However over a decade later, versions of the warnings continue to hit inboxes and appear on social networking sites.



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