FBI Launches #ThinkBeforeYouPost Campaign To Curb Hoax Threats
The FBI is launching a campaign to educate the public on the consequences of posting hoax threats to schools and other public places.
The agency is launching the #ThinkBeforeYouPost campaign to remind the public these hoax threats are not jokes and could lead to a person's arrest.
In light of recent mass shootings at Santa Fe High School in Texas and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, law officers across the country have seen an uptick in threats made to schools and other public forums.
The FBI said the agency and partner law enforcement agencies follow up on every tip they receive from the public, and they analyze and investigate all threats to determine their credibility.
Due to the tools and manpower used to investigate these claims, hoax threats are a drain on law enforcement resources and cost taxpayers money.
If an investigation concludes there was a false or hoax threat made against a school or other public place, a federal charge could be considered. A federal conviction can carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, the FBI said.
If federal charges are not warranted, state charges can be considered.
"Early intervention can prevent a situation from escalating by identifying, assessing, and managing the threat. Remember, if you see something, say something. Hoax threats are not a joke, so think before you post!" an FBI spokeswoman said in a statement.
The FBI asks the public to continue to call law officers to report any potential threats or suspicious activity by calling 911 or the FBI via tips.fbi.gov or over the phone at 800-225-5324. Tips can be reported to a person's nearest FBI field office.