A fake WhatsApp message is circulating in Cayman, purportedly warning people that robbers are calling to residents’ homes, presenting fake IDs and pretending to be involved in census-taking.
Police and the ministries of home affairs and finance and economics issued a statement Saturday describing the social media message as a hoax.
“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,” the police and government officials said in the statement.
They also noted 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,” the officials said.
The statement also noted that the Economics and Statistics Office 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 people they are interviewing.
Anyone with questions about the surveys can contact the ESO hotline at 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,” police said in the statement.