If Reverse Phone Lookup Picks Up Nothing, It Must Be Nothing

During the past few weeks, police phone lines in the State of Virginia have been flooded with calls from concerned citizens who became the targets of the hoax text message disseminated indiscriminately among the state residents. The State Police press release advised the public to pay no attention to the phony alert that has recently begun to circulate across the southeastern United States. The text message claims that sometime that week there will be gang initiations at several Wal-Mart locations that may involve shootings or other serious criminal activity. The message claims to come from the police and specifically warns women.

After receiving countless calls from concerned citizens about these messages, the Virginia Fusion Center immediately began looking into the matter. The repeated attempts to trace these texts back to its phone of origin resulted in defeat, because in every case, no number showed up on recipients' Caller ID. Some tech-savvy recipients even attempted to use other tools to unmask the number behind the blank Caller ID, but that didn't work either. Needless to say, reverse phone lookup was powerless in this case, since it needs at least some basic information to go on. In such cases, authorities usually conclude that the callers are operating from across the border, making it impossible for reverse phone lookup and tracking devices to break through and locate the source of disturbance.

At this point, there is nothing verifiable about the text message and it has been proclaimed a hoax and the threats not credible. Citizens receiving such a message are instructed to delete it and discouraged from forwarding it to others, to prevent spreading panic.