ESSEX,VT-After reports of false advertising, Essex Police want to remind people to be careful when looking at advertisements.
Essex Police reported that sometime at the beginning of the month they became aware of seniors receiving a message that stated, “Essex junction Vermont: recent attacks on seniors prompt police yo issue public safety alert, urging older residents to carry new safety device.”
Chief of Police Rick Garey said they got complaints in reference to what appeared to be a scam that came through the use of a mobile weather application. Garey said the text is misleading and carefully worded.
“It said that the police were suggesting for people to buy personal safety equipment. The thing that was concerning was that the post led the reader to believe that this issue was in Essex junction,” said Garey.
The Essex Police Department wants everyone to know that there has been NO increases in assaults on seniors and they did NOT put up any advertisements.
Chief Garey believes this is a form of deceptive advertising. “What happens is when you get them on your phone the ads are targeted to your area and what we found in a couple of these cases is that the add actually changed and provided different information depending on what you put for your location,” said Garey.
Garey assured Local 22 and 44 news that the police department does not use advertisements to alert the public. Instead, they use things like Facebook, the news, and Front Porch Forums.
However, The Essex Police Department hopes this will remind people to use caution when looking at advertisements and to do your due diligence in vetting them out.
“As they use phones, applications that are on phones, web pages, e-mails, or they get phone calls related to that, there’s a lot of false and misleading advertising over there,” said Garey. You absolutely need to do your due diligence be very careful when you’re responding or reading these ads and if you don’t know call your local police departments”
Chief Garey says they have contacted the parent company of the application about the ad and that it’s possible these questionable ads could be linked to outside sources. The Police Department will be forwarding their report to the attorney general’s office.