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This Fake Washing Machine Facebook Con Has Gone Viral Again

It's been over a year since fake statuses warning others of strangers who use other people's washing machines for free went viral. But here we are again.

A viral con that first picked up on Facebook in May last year is doing the rounds again – this time on Twitter.

While the theme of the hoax is incredibly similar, the wording is slightly different. This tweet from Sunday already has more than 15,000 retweets.

The hoax focusses on a warning – usually posted in "How To" or "For Sale" Facebook groups – that tells people to look out for a person (who is usually pictured) that will arrive at their house requesting to try out their for-sale washing machine, before taking their clean clothes and leaving.

The tweet from Luke Donkin seems to be the main reason the hoax is going viral again. Thousands of people have responded to the tweet.

@LukeDonkin11 @BListAtCapital Who brings laundry with them? The owners could have washed something in the house

@LukeDonkin11 @ManMadeMoon Crime is out of control! Call the fuzz!

@LukeDonkin11 This how he was 😂

Or maybe we're stuck in some sort of meme paradox used by the government to keep the public entertained and placid. That could also be a reason. Who knows.


The warning comes almost exactly a year after another Facebook post about a washing machine deal gone horribly wrong went viral, in part because of its hilarious content, but also because it appears to have become a meme.

In 2016, a post to a "buy and swap" Facebook group called Vic Deals started to get a lot of attention. It was about this guy, who we'll just call the Washing Machine Bandit, who apparently pulled off one of the funniest cons in history.

A man named Jordan Baker posted the "***WARNING***" and was keen on letting the rest of the group know that the Washing Machine Bandit had used his washer and dryer, feigning interest in buying them, but saying he wanted to test them first. He apparently hopped in his car and left once his clothes were washed and dried. It was hilarious.

Hundreds of comments and shares accumulated as people started posting the warning to their own page, whether out of genuine concern for the public or out of complete shock and awe with the story. Later that day, the post was deleted.

But the warning was given new life when a page with 100,000+ followers, LifeInvadr, shared the image, making it take off again.

Hundreds more shared and liked Jordan Baker's seemingly innocent and unfortunate warning, and it was also linked to other buy, swap and sell pages from all over Australia.

And then things got, well, weird.

Warnings with the exact same text started to get posted to other pages, but this time with different pictures and on some occasions, a different name. Other than those two details, the text remained the same, including strange capitalisations of "Let Me Go Get the Money" and "Antics!".

People started to notice, and they weren't impressed.

Its still unclear if the original "Washing Machine Bandit" post was genuine. There are so many warnings showing up it's possible that the post itself has become a meme, with people knowingly copying the format.

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