Break the Chain A Uniform Threat

Created 3/28/2003 (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.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Subj: Don't Know How True This is, But

Interesting bit of info.

There has been a huge purchase, $32,000 worth, of United Parcel Service (UPS) uniforms on eBAY over the last (30) thirty days. This could represent a serious threat as bogus drivers can drop off anything to anyone with deadly consequences. If you have ANY questions when a UPS driver appears at your door, they should be able to furnish VALID I.D. Additionally, if someone in a UPS uniform comes to make a drop off or pick up, make absolute sure they are driving a UPS truck. UPS does not make deliveries or pick ups in anything except a company vehicles. If you have a problem, IMMEDIATELY call security or your State/local Law enforcement.

** Please take in to consideration if you also find packages left at your residence that you are not expecting.

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This message was sent to me by a friend whose daughter works for UPS. I have not checked it out. Please forgive me for that, but if you do business with UPS, you might want to be aware that this is making the rounds.

Keep a close eye out for anything!!!

Keep an eye on UPS ........

Quick security alert: $32,000 worth of UPS uniforms have been purchased over the last 30 days by person(s) unknown on eBay. Law enforcement is working the case however no suspect(s) have been identified. Subjects may try to gain facility access by wearing these uniforms. If anyone has suspicions about a UPS delivery....... i.e., no truck, but driver, no UPS identification, etc., contact UPS to verify employment.

The New Jersey Office of Counter-Terrorism has received a report of an attempt by an unknown individual to enter a government facility by falsely posing as an employee of the United Parcel Service. Based on this incident, security personnel should exercise heightened vigilance when screening all delivery personnel at the entrance of all buildings and when accepting deliveries. Such measures should include careful inspection of credentials and identification of all delivery personnel to ensure that they are who they purport to be.

MSgt. John N. May

Unit Security Manager, 12CS

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Subject: Wanted to share this - please pass along

We have just received information regarding the sale of UPS uniforms on e-bay. A concerned citizen called FBI/WFO to advise that an individual has purchased $32,000 worth of UPS uniforms over the past 30 days on e-bay.

FBI/JTTF is working the case and to date, there is no ID on subject(s). We wanted to pass on this information in the event the subject is using the uniforms to gain access to buildings and facilities.

In light of this, we are requesting that security, prior to taking any deliveries from any UPS employee, requests to see their Company Identification. If they are unable to produce this identification then the delivery will be refused. UPS sometimes delivers directly to tenant suites, so we would recommend that tenants and TMA staff observe the same precaution.

Additionally, the US Postal Service has risen their internal alert level to Code Red and you may see additional security measures surrounding the US Postal Services.

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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:

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

UPS ALERT FROM WASHINGTON HOMELAND SECURITY

There has been a huge purchase, $32,000 worth, of United Parcel Service (UPS) uniforms on eBay over the last 30 days. This could represent a serious threat as bogus drivers (terrorists) can drop off anything to anyone with deadly consequences! If you have ANY questions when a UPS driver appears at your door, they should be able to furnish VALID I.D.

Additionally, if someone in a UPS uniform comes to make a drop off or pick up, make absolutely sure they are driving a UPS truck. UPS doesn't make deliveries or pickups in anything, except a company vehicle. If you have a problem, IMMEDIATELY call your local law enforcement agency right away!

TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY! Tell everyone in your office, your family, your friends, etc. Make people aware so that we can prepare and/or avoid terrorist attacks on our people!

Thank you for your time in reviewing this and PLEASE send to EVERYONE on--your list, even if they are friend or foe. We should all be aware!

Kimberly Bush-Carr
Management Program Specialist
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Bureau Customs and Border Protection
Washington, DC 20229

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

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.

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The origins of the UPS uniform rumor are somewhat interesting. In February 2003, private security firms and local law enforcement agencies in different parts of the country began issuing the warning that a large amount of stolen UPS uniforms may have landed in the hands of terrorists. It's possible that the rumor started with the revelation that some people were paying exorbitant prices for UPS uniforms on different online auction sites. The motivation behind people buying and selling uniforms online has been the object of speculation since, and the theory that it may be a preparation for an upcoming attack was popular enough in this post-9/11 world to quickly move from suggestion to rumor.

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.

What Do You Think?


References: TruthOrFiction.com, Snopes.com

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