Saturday, May 4, 2013

Beware of fake SMS news alerts

Fake news, purportedly from top Malaysian news websites, are being sent to voters in the final hours of the 13th general election campaign which ends at midnight today.

Last night, a fake SMS news alert, purportedly from Malaysiakini, was sent out to an undetermined number of mobile phone users.

fake mkini malaysiakini sms alertSoon after Malaysiakinirevealed the results of pollster Merdeka Centre latest survey yesterday, an individual despatched a news alert purportedly fromMalaysiakini at 7.03pm.

The news alert said: "Merdeka Centre's pre-election poll released today shows Najib Razak's ratings up a further 7 pct and BN leading Pakatan by 11 pct/MKINI."

Malaysiakini had earlier reported that the Merdeka Centre survey shows Pakatan marginally ahead of its rival, with 42 percent respondents saying they want the opposition to govern as against 41 percent for BN.

The survey, which was carried out in Peninsular Malaysia between April 28 and May 2, involved telephone interviews with 1,600 voters from the peninsula selected through random stratified sampling.

Double check your info
Attempts to contact the mobile number which sent out the fake SMS alert failed with the person on the other end of the line repeatedly cutting the calls.

Malaysiakini's editor Steven Gan denied that the SMS news alert was sent out by the news website last night.

"In the coming days, beware of such fake news coming to you through SMS, email and social media. It's wise to double check with the actual source of the information."

Meanwhile, Malaysian Insider reported that a fake news story purportedly from the website - also on the topic of the Merdeka Centre survey - was circulated yesterday by email.

According to the fake news report, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Razak's approval rating soared to an "all-time high" of 73 percent.

~ Malaysiakini

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