Hundreds of Pa. hunters confused by a bogus social media post

Written by on November 10, 2020

Hundreds of Pa. hunters confused by a bogus social media post

By Megan Frank

November 10, 2020

Photo provided by Megan Frank / WLVR

A viral social media post has been causing confusion for some Pennsylvania hunters.

The post, which was re-shared on Facebook hundreds of times, falsely claims that hunters are required to wear fluorescent orange face masks featuring the state Game Commission’s logo. Hunters, it says, will need to shell out $30 to get one.

Listen to the story.

In response to the social media uproar, the Pennsylvania Game Commission posted on its official Facebook page, writing: “[The] commission is not requiring hunters to wear fluorescent orange face masks. Agency news and updates can always be found on the agency’s official website.”

Scott Gingold, president of Lehigh Valley Technology Company, warns that posts like this not only con the public, they may also give your computer a virus.

“Sometimes when people click blindly, they allow some type of trojan or malware to be downloaded onto their computer,” Gingold told PBS39.

The bogus blog in this case is posted on a website called “Channel 22 News,” but no such news organization exists in the commonwealth. Nestled at the bottom of the blog is a message: “You got owned.” It then warns readers to “not fall for things they read on the internet.”

Gingold is not convinced that the motive of the prankster is altruistic.

“Some people are looking to create a name for themselves,” he said. “If they really wanted to educate people, they should have included a link to cybersecurity tips.”

There are a number of orange requirements for some hunting activities in Pennsylvania, including for woodchuck, bear, deer and elk hunting. An orange face mask, however, is not referenced.

“If you see something on social media, like this hunting situation, go to the official website before clicking,” Gingold advised. “It never hurts to pick up the phone. Ask the person who shared it, where did you find this? Think twice before you share.”

Face masks are not required to hunt in Pennsylvania. The agency advises people to follow state health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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