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Police say that an email in current circulation which refers to $5 'bills' and crime situations in New Zealand is a hoax and should be ignored.
The email which surfaced recently has similarities to a hoax email in Australia. It has been altered to include references to New Zealand Police staff, publications, programmes and safety advice purportedly given from police.
"This email has all the hallmarks of an urban legend and should be discounted," says Police National Headquarters community policing manager Inspector Carey Griffiths. "Its circulation is causing a lot of unnecessary concern for recipients, many of whom are contacting police about it."
Inspector Griffiths urges people to take a common sense approach when it comes to bulk emails, especially if the information appears to be sensationalist or alarming.
"There are some simple steps that people can make by using their web browser to check content against urban legend websites. We also encourage everyone to be careful about forwarding emails which have bulk distribution lists.
"We all receive bulk emails from time to time, and they often are sent to us by people we know. If you have any doubts, check with the sender or have a look at the urban legend sites."