A "warning" message that's been making its way around social media, including local WhatsApp chat groups, is a hoax according to the Guam Police Department.
Acting spokesperson, Officer Berlyn Savella, in a statement responding to The Guam Daily Post inquiry, confirmed that GPD didn't send out what was shared widely locally. She added in her statement that resident should purchase masks from reputable companies and to always be cautious when answering their doors.
"We would like to remind the community when answering your doors to identify who you open your doors to. If you are not expecting any visitors or company keep your door closed and locked. If you do not recognize the person on the other side of the door and they refuse to provide their identity, contact your nearest precinct," GPD officials state.
The false viral message is labeled as a "Police bulletin, warning."
It states: "People are going door to door handing out masks, they say it’s a new initiative from local government. They will always ask you to please put it on to see if it fits you. It has been doused with chemicals which knocks you out cold and once you're knocked out they proceed to rob you. Please do not accept masks from strangers. Remember, we are living in critical times and people are desperate to take advantage with the aim of making money. Crime rate has skyrocketed, so please be cautious and play safe!"
It ends with an encouragement to share the message widely, stating: "Remember, sharing is caring!”
GPD's statement follows:
It has been brought to the Guam Police Department’s attention that a post regarding “door to door” initiatives with local government in providing face masks is being offered and given to residences doused with chemicals which can knock the person out with the intention to rob you.
The Guam Police Department confirms the circulated post that could be seen on WhatsApp or other forms of media is not substantiated nor true and could be identified as a hoax. We advise, the circulated post is not a Product of the Guam Police Department.
We would like to remind the community when answering your doors to identify who you open your doors to. If you are not expecting any visitors or company keep your door closed and locked. If you do not recognize the person on the other side of the door and they refuse to provide their identity, contact your nearest precinct.
We encourage when purchasing or receiving face masks to obtain your face masks from a reputable company, local pharmacy, or store.
If you have any questions or would like to report any incidences regarding the circulated post, you may contact Guam Police Dispatch at 671-475-8616 thru 7. For emergencies contact 911.