FBI warns of posting hoax threats in a new public education camp - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

FBI warns of posting hoax threats in a new public education campaign

The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT
The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT
The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT
The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

We've seen a string of threats of school violence this past school year and tragedies like the Parkland school shooting have parents and law enforcement on high alert.

Now, there's a renewed warning from the FBI about making those false threats.

The FBI campaign is all about getting your attention and realizing that what may take a few seconds to type and post could have a lifetime of consequences.

"It's not a joke." That's the part of the FBI's Think Before You Post campaign that speaks most to parents like Marqueus Draper.

"To think that my child could be a part of a school shooting or a threat, it makes me nervous," said Draper. "And it makes me concerned. Even though it's a hoax, it could potentially be real."

His kids haven't had threats at their schools, but even hearing about active shooter drills got him thinking that it could be their school.

"That time before the police can investigate or someone can tell you what's going on, you start having an imagination about what could potentially be going on," added Draper.

The FBI doesn't take threats to schools or other public places lightly.

"A threat invokes reactions from citizens and law enforcement," said FBI Jackson's Assistant Special Agent in Charge Steve Jensen. "A response from law enforcement also takes them away from jobs they should be doing -- responding to 911 calls or preventing crimes of violence from occurring -- and if it's a hoax threat, if it's a spoof, that takes our abilities away from things we should be focused on."

As for the consequences, it can range from embarrassment to time behind bars.

"An individual who's just getting into adulthood who posts something that creates an environment of being threatened, whether its real or its just an intimidation tactic, can carry a five year sentence if they're charged and prosecuted federally," noted Jensen.

They can face additional state charges on top of that.

Just last month, 19-year-old Nathan Caleb Brown was arrested and denied bail for internet threats in DeSoto County. He created Twitter accounts where he posted several threats.

READ MORE: Federal agents jail MS student for threatening to shoot up school

Meanwhile, parents like Draper hope the campaign will get someone's attention.

"If you're thinking about posting something online or on social media about a hoax, don't do it," said Draper. "Because as a parent, it effects us as well."

If you want to report information to the FBI, visit tips.fbi.gov. If you need someone to listen, call 1-800-622-HELP (4357) or visit samsha.gov.

If it is an emergency, dial 911.

Jackson's FBI Field Office says they actually have a task force devoted to investigating threats -- which includes school threats or threats to a public place.

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