Internet users in New Zealand have reportedly received emails, spreading a sick hoax that claims an earthquake is predicted to hit the city of Auckland on Sunday, April 17th.
A typical email reads:
Next earthquake announced April 17 will hit Auckland
There is about 88% chance within the next days Auckland will be hit by an earthquake according to National Earthquake Information Center from New Zealand. This news was released today after more predictions related to the Christchurch earthquake. Read more here or on www.nzherald.co.nz
However, the email has been debunked by the NZ Herald newspaper, which has confirmed that it is a hoax.
Residents of New Zealand would obviously be highly alarmed by such a warning, as the country is recovering from a devastating earthquake which hit the South Island city of Christchurch in February.
Internet users are advised to be suspicious of unsolicited messages, making predictions of natural disasters. If you receive such an email, do not click on any of its links (as they may be malicious) and instead turn to legitimate news outlets for information.
Remember that email hoaxes are not harmless, and can have serious consequences. You can learn more about the many internet hoaxes and chain letters on Sophos's security hub.