Fake Government Utility Workers Robbing Homeowners: Fact Check


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Image about Fake Government Utility Workers Robbing Homeowners
Fake Government Utility Workers Robbing Homeowners

Story:

COMMUNITY ALERT !! Fake Government Utility Workers Robbing Homeowners

FORWARD TO OTHERS

Please. take note :
3 or 4 guys may visit your home claiming they are from water company, to install shower caps, to save water! They may claim they are from the electricity company to change light bulbs for free! They have been spotted in several areas.
Plz do NOT let them into your homes. They are Robbers robbing people at gun-point. Plz alert all your contacts, as you may save a life.

Other Versions

Please. take note : 3 or 4 guys may visit your home claiming they are from water company, to install shower caps, to save water. Or they will claim they are from Electricity Company to change energy-saving electric bulbs for free as part of government lay down program. They have been spotted in so many areas. Please. do NOT let them in. They are Robbers, robbing people at gun-point. Please alert all your contacts, as you may save lives. Make sure doors are locked at all times and Please do not open door to strangers. Please forward immediately to save lives n property!!!

Screenshot of story on Facebook
Screenshot of story on Facebook

Fact Check:

Some messages in heavy circulation online ‘alert’ people of robbers entering homes as government workers from Water or Electricity department. They claim fake utility workers are entering homes in the name of changing shower caps or light bulbs for free and robbing people at gun-point. The messages also advise home owners to lock their doors at all times and not to open them to strangers. The claims however are a mixture of hoax and facts explained here.

Origin of Claims: Fake Government Workers Robbing Homeowners

The ‘warning’ messages in slightly different versions are doing rounds online since many years even through email forwards. Notably, they do not mention any place of occurrence and also appear as warning from a Government/Police department. Available reports suggest these messages originated in Dubai in 2012. Messages posted over social networking sites warned residents about employees from electricity and water authority robbing people’s homes at gun-point.

Image of Copy of Rumor message in Dubai in 2012
Copy of Rumor message in Dubai in 2012

Back then Dubai Police called the message alerts as rumors, adding such incidents did not happen in Dubai. Nonetheless, versions of the warning messages started circulating in the United States and other countries worldwide. On the other hand, sometimes criminals and robbers do make false claims to gain access to personal property/homes. Incidents like it indeed happen in some parts of the world.

Related Cases

Criminals impersonate utility/maintenance workers to access households, especially where elderly people live. There are reports of some such robbery incidents taking place in Bangalore, India in 2015. There are also reports of violent attackers posing as utility workers in residential areas of New York and California the same year. In March 2016, authorities across the United States warned homeowners about such imposters talking their way through people’s front doors.

So, like suggested, it is advisable to be cautious with such unknown people entering your homes. It’s a good idea to ask the people for Identity proofs and ensure they are legitimate government workers. In case of doubt, you can also call the company and verify before letting the workers into your home. As a matter of safety, it is of course wise to keep your doors locked and use door chains.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of Hoax and Facts.


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71
16 shares, 71 points
Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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