Dubai: Police are warning residents not to believe spam messages that have been posted over social networking sites claiming that employees from the electricity and water authority are robbing people’s homes at gunpoint.
The spam message, which was circulated heavily over Blackberry messenger last week, claims that: “Three or four [men] may visit your home claiming they are from DEWA/SEWA, to install shower caps, to save water! They may claim they are from Eskom to change light bulbs for free! They have been spotted in several areas. Please do not let them into your homes. They are robbers robbing people at gunpoint. Please broadcast to all your contacts, you may save a life.”
Lt Col Ahmad Humaid Al Marri, Director of the Criminal Investigations Division at Dubai Police, confirmed to Gulf News that the message is merely a rumour and is baseless.
“Residents should not panic and no robberies of this nature have taken place anywhere in Dubai. None of these alleged crimes have been reported to police and we urge people not to cause panic among the community and spread such malicious rumours,” said Lt Col Al Marri.
“If it happened in Sharjah or any other emirate, then we cannot confirm the incident but it certainly did not happen in Dubai.”
Residents have been advised that if employees from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority visit homes, they are dressed in uniform, drive a vehicle with the authority’s logo and according to procedure, are required to present their identification to residents.
“I had no idea whether this message was true or not, as I received it by email about two weeks ago. It was surprising to hear that such a thing could be happening here,” said a resident.
Other residents who received the spam message on their Blackberrys lamented that it is difficult to decide which messages may be true or not and decide to broadcast it regardless.
“I get lots of spam messages from colleagues and friends and while some of them may have been rumours, there have been a few that were true. I circulated it a few days ago because the mere idea of such a robbery taking place is unthinkable, and people should always be aware of what is being heard within social circles,” said Moath S, a Blackberry user.