Second text message hoax circulates through Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, MISS (WDAM) - A message warning women about a gang initiation at Wal-Mart is the second mass text-message hoax to hit the Pine Belt this year.

Authorities said it should be ignored, as it is part of a viral hoax which began in Tennessee in 2005.

The message reads something like, "Police are asking all women not to go to any Wal-Mart tonight. There is a gang initiation and three women will be shot. This is not a joke. Please forward."

The message has been circulating for almost four years because people continue to forward it despite having no knowledge as to its accuracy or who the sender's identity is.

Earlier this year, a similar hoax involving an Amber Alert circulated throughout the Pine Belt even though active Amber Alerts are easily accessed online.