Fake News: NO Fentanyl-Poisoned Flyers Placed On Cars

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: NO Fentanyl-Poisoned Flyers Placed On Cars

Did someone place flyers poisoned with Fentanyl on a police car in Harris County? No, that's not true: the Harris County Sherrif's Office issued a statement with that claim on June 26, 2018 via a Facebook post but then retracted it a few days later on June 30, 2018 after lab results came back. Despite that several websites have kept publishing copies of the story on later dates without bothering to check the original source with the retraction notice.

The story recently reappeared as an article published by Chilling Mode on September 5, 2019 titled "Someone Is Placing Flyers On Cars That Are Poisoned - Chilling Mode" (archived here) which opened:

A shocking story of a sergeant with Harris County Sheriff's Officers, who got infected after getting into contact with a flyer has hit the headlines. The papers she touched are said to have been contaminated with Fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid usually used as pain medication and which is functional together with anesthesia medication. The ...

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Someone Is Placing Flyers On Cars That Are Poisoned - Chilling Mode

A shocking story of a sergeant with Harris County Sheriff's Officers, who got infected after getting into contact with a flyer has hit the headlines. The papers she touched are said to have been contaminated with Fentanyl. Fentanyl is an opioid usually used as pain medication and which is functional together with anesthesia medication. The ...

This seems to have been the original Facebook post (archived here) from the Harris County Sherrif's Office making the claim:

But the post already indicates it was updated when new information came out showing that no fentanyl was found after lab testing:

URGENT: Flyers placed on the windshields of some #HCSO vehicles this afternoon at 601 Lockwood have tested positive for the opiod Fentanyl. One sergeant who touched a flyer is receiving medical treatment. Call authorities if you see these flyers and DO NOT TOUCH. #HouNews
UPDATE: Further lab testing found no evidence of Fentanyl on the flyers.

The update seems to have been made just a few days later as can be seen in the edit history of the post:

fentanylflyers.jpg

Despite this information being available to everyone who bothered to look for it, since then several websites have re-posted articles claiming a Fentanyl-laced flyer was found. Most of these sites are either really bad at reporting or simply engaging in some old fashioned copyright infringement by stealing old articles from other websites for monetary gain.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion