LIBERTY, Mo. — The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is dispelling the ongoing problem of fake online rumors about crimes happening in local neighborhoods.
The sheriff’s office says fake crime posts on social media are a national problem and can have a negative effect on communities.
Just last week, a rumor surfaced of an attempted kidnapping at a gas station in Liberty, Missouri, which caused damage to the business.
“Online rumors have real-world consequences. In the event last week, the gas station lost business because people were scared to go there,” Sarah Boyd, public relations manager, said. “In yesterday’s ‘manhunt’ post, I saw a resident post on Facebook that he spent the whole day sitting on his porch with a shotgun.”
Boyd added that she understands residents share the posts to raise awareness, but it can cause unnecessary fear-mongering. Threats to public safety will come directly from law enforcement agencies.
The post shared on a public Clay County and Platte County group talk about a wanted suspect in a double-homicide in Holt, Missouri. Though the picture is not the same, the crime described in the post actually happened in Wyoming, and the suspect is in custody.
The Raytown Police Department also debunked a fake social media post from a Lee’s Summit and Raytown public group that says a serial killer and abductor is on the loose.
FAKE! There is a fake post about a serial killer/abductor that has been repeatedly posted in social media community groups across the country, and now in the KC metro area. It is false information. Raytown has no reported incidents that match this.Raytown Police Department
Both agencies recommend reaching out to them directly if you hear of something out of the ordinary or want to confirm any rumors.
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