Police have confirmed that a message circulating on social media warning women about rape incidents at shopping malls in Durban and Gauteng is a hoax.

A message purportedly penned by Hasina Habib claimed several rape incidents have occurred in several malls across the country including Gateway, La Lucia, Pavillion-Sanlam Centre, Cresta Mall, South Gate Mall, The Glen Mall and Sandton Mall. Provincial police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said the posting was a hoax. Durban North police communication’s officer, Captain Raymond Deokaran said the same message circulated on social media around the same time last year.

The hoax message claimed: “With what is being called amazing regularity, victims of this new crime wave have been found walking out of shopping mall restrooms completely naked. The scam begins when a man slips into a women’s restroom and sneaks into a stall. He waits until there is only one woman in the restroom in a neighbouring stall. He then quickly puts an out of order sign on the outside of the restroom door. The out of order sign guarantees no one will soon come to the woman’s rescue.”