A widely circulating email warning people about an electronic device that clones the security codes of remote car locks is a hoax, even though it purports to be from an RCMP officer from Sherwood Park, Alta.
Const. Wally Henry, the officer named in the email, said Friday he never sent the message, and the information it contains is false.
"I actually changed my voice mail message to let people know that the information is not true, in case I'm not there to pick up the call, and that way this message isn't getting disseminated any further," Henry said.
The person sending the email claims to be alerting people about a new way criminals are getting into locked cars. The author tells a story about how his son had his cellphone, laptop computer, GPS and briefcase stolen from his car, even though there was no sign of a break-in.
The author then claims police told his son about a new electronic device that thieves use to steal codes when someone uses the remote door lock on their key chain, by picking up codes that are sent "through the airwaves." The thieves "clone" this information and use it to get into vehicles.
Henry said none of this information is true.
"[I] just did some checking into it on my own," Henry said. "From my investigations I can't find anything to support any credibility … to the information. So at this point, I'd have to say it's another one of those myths that surfaces around on the internet."
Henry is at a loss to understand why anyone would cut and paste his contact information on the bottom of the email.
The contact information of a clerk with the RCMP Major Crimes Unit in Strathcona County also appears on the email.
Henry said he's received about 150 calls about the email in the past couple of weeks, including inquiries from police services across Canada, checking to see if the note is real.
It's not, and Henry asked people not to forward the email if they receive it.