European Roma are sharing an online hoax from 2002 about poisonous cosmetic samples
A hoax is being spread by e-mail and through social media recently, mainly among Europe's Romani community, about Romani families in France receiving advertisements in their mailboxes containing cosmetic samples that are allegedly poisonous. A similar hoax began to spread online at the same time alleging that Israeli women have been targeted with such poisonous deliveries.
This particular disinformation about poisoned cosmetic samples first appeared in 2002 and is currently back in circulation. The false report claims that the packages may contain perfume samples, toothpaste samples, or samples of creams.
The hoax alleges that "seven women" have already died as a result of opening the samples. In both the Israeli and the Romani-targeted versions, the false claim about deaths also includes the allegation that dozens more women have been hospitalized.
The disinformation also includes the much-used tactic of alleging that this is a terrorist attack that the Government is "naturally" keeping it a secret. News servers in France and Israel are informing the public that the rumors are unfounded.
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