The Mt. Juliet Police Department (MJPD) is warning the city’s residents of fake social media posts that could sow division within the community.
“These posts are false and similar posts are occurring nationwide, targeting different city names, using multiple fake accounts. However, when posted to Facebook groups, many local residents share the fake post because they believe it to be true,” said the police department.
The photos depict men carrying what appear to be catalytic converters for cars, and say that those men are out and about in the community stealing the car parts.
The posts ask users to share and “make [the subject depicted in the post] famous.”
Police say it is easy to determine what is a scam and what is legitimate.
“A few clicks can quickly reveal if a post is legitimate or not. Look at where the post came from, and figure out if it’s a source you can trust,” according to the department. “See if the person is local or not. You can also search the body of the text (remove the city name), and many other fake posts with the same text and pictures will be revealed.”
“Most importantly, if there is a threat to our community members, we will certainly post and let our community know through the department’s many communication channels,” MJPD said.
MJPD did not say what the motive was for the scam posts.
The posts appear to be shared in rummage sale and other Facebook pages made for exchanging goods.
A Facebook search reveals that similar posts depicting different men have been shared hundreds of times in counties and towns across Tennessee.
The posts have also been shared in similar groups outside of the state, including in Pennsylvania and Colorado.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Facebook” by ThoroughlyReviewed. CC BY 2.0. Background Photo “Mt. Juliet Police” by Mt. Juliet Police Department.