|A Uniform Threat|
(5/11/2004) As the United States stays at an elevated alert for possible terrorist actions, rumors offering insights into an anticipated "second wave" of attracts are popular and spread with great zeal. This time, we're to believe terrorists would blatantly buy a bunch of uniforms on a public auction site in order to pass their presumably bomb-toting operatives to masquerade as trustworthy employees of one of the world's most respectable companies. The chain comes in many different flavors, but the message is the same.
By 2004, this one had picked up a case of False Attribution Syndrome that incorrectly attributes it to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - a mistaken identity that helped lend it much undue credence:
Ms. Bush-Carr and the Department of Homeland Security have nothing more to do with this warning than the fact that Ms. Bush-Carr received it and had the bad judgment to forward it and add her contact information to it.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 that damaged the pentagon, left the World Trade Center in ruins and killed thousands of innocent citizens came without warning. Since then, tales of terrorists inadvertently tipping their hands and giving clues to their next account have been popular. After a disaster of the scale of 9/11, it's reassuring to believe we can predict (and possibly avoid) the next tragedy. Popular tales of terrorist bread crumbs included a Muslim's note to his girlfriend about planned attacks on shopping malls, a fictional rash of stolen Ryder and U-Haul trucks and claims that a foreign stranger exchange plans to poison Coca-Cola in thanks for spare change.
There have been no reliable accounts of any unauthorized person using a stolen uniform (UPS or otherwise) to gain entrance to secured facilities. The most popular online auction sites (eBay and Yahoo! Auctions) have banned the sale of these uniforms since this rumor broke. UPS adamantly denies that a large supply of uniforms is missing and calls the supposed sale of them en masse on eBay a fabrication. They remind customers to call 1-800-PICK-UPS if you have any questions about a person claiming to be a company driver. Break this chain.