Claim:  Police in Lumberton, Texas, placed an ad in the Lumberton Ledger offering to assist drug dealers by arresting their competitors.

TRUE

Example:[Collected via e-mail, October 2015]

Is this for real ..?

Origins:   On 6 August 2015 a Facebook user shared the above-reproduced advertisement, reporting that she had spotted it in that week’s Lumberton Ledger (Texas):

ATTENTION DRUG DEALERS

Is your drug dealing competition costing you money? … Would you like to eliminate that problem?

We can help! … We can take your competition off the streets for FREE. … Report your competition to us

Below that, a short fill-in form provided spaces for names, addresses, phone numbers, and locations in which competing drug dealers sold drugs, along with contact information for the Lumberton Police Department.

We contacted that department to determine whether the advertisement ever ran in the Lumberton Ledger. The person with whom we spoke stated the photograph indeed depicted a real advertisement placed by the Lumberton Police Department which ran at least once. While the representative didn’t recall when the ad ran, she estimated that it had appeared several months prior (adding that its intermittent online popularity resulted in waves of questions from social media users).

Last updated: 26 October 2015

Originally published: 26 October 2015