DENVILLE, NJ – The Denville Police Department warned residents in an advisory on Fri., March 20, that it has received reports of unsolicited text messages in which the author claimed to have a connection to someone who worked at a clinic or government agency and who then revealed unannounced plans for an impending lockdown or quarantine. According to the advisory, the messages follow similar patterns and suggest the recipient stockpile food, gas, medicine, or other necessities and pass the information onto others. One such text message falsely stated that President Donald Trump would enact the Stafford Act and order a two-week mandatory quarantine. “This information is not true, and its continued spread can only result in unnecessary panic,” the advisory stated.

“Also, the pandemic has created a whole new area for unsavory individuals to attempt to scam the unsuspecting public,” the advisory continued. “Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits. Be very mindful of individuals offering to disinfect your homes and/or businesses unsolicited, of unsolicited requests for donations to relief organizations or groups, and of offers of a ‘miracle drug’.”

Moreover, anyone in need of police, fire or emergency medical services, must let the dispatcher know whether you or anyone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, are under quarantine for suspicions of COVID-19, or are experiencing flu like symptoms, the advisory instructed. “This will allow our dispatcher to advise all first responders to take extra precautions and don personal protective equipment (PPE) before making contact with anyone. At this time, it is vitally important that we ensure the continued health of our first responders so that they can continue to provide the necessary services to the Township without interruption.”

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Flyers and graphics regarding social distancing can be downloaded by residents and businesses from the Denville Police Department’s website (http://www.denvillepolice.org/) under the Latest Events section. The advisory concluded with reminding residents to heed the advice of the CDC regarding social distancing, hand-washing and limiting contact with large groups.

 

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