November 19, 2019

Cayman: Joint statement on WhatsApp hoax

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  A hoax is circulating via WhatsApp, concerning persons committing robberies using fraudulent ID.

·         Local police have received no reports of such robberies.

·         Members of the public are asked to refrain from further circulating the fraudulent warning

The Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Economics and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service have become aware of a hoax circulating via WhatsApp, concerning persons committing robberies using fraudulent ID.

Local police have received no reports of such robberies, alleged to have been committed by persons carrying a letter from the non-existent Department of Home Affairs, relating to the upcoming census.

Officials further note that a virtually identical scam has been circulating internationally via mobile and social media for years, surfacing most recently in September 2019.

Members of the public are asked to remain calm and refrain from further circulating the fraudulent warning.

They are reminded that the RCIPS will promptly notify the public whenever recent crimes create the potential for concern or impact.

It should be noted that the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) is currently conducting a pilot census in tandem with the Fall Labour Force Survey. Field surveyors employed on this project carry multiple forms of identification from ESO and have no need to see the personal identification of persons whom they are interviewing.   Persons who have questions about the surveys may contact the ESO hotline at tel. 516-3329.

Anyone with concerns about the identity of someone who has approached their door should request identification and if needed contact their local police station. As always persons should contact 911 if they feel they are in immediate danger.

To go to story about a hoax with very similar details on Snopes go to: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/home-affairs-robbery-census/

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