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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher March 25, 2020

Beware of rumors of robbers posing as COVID testers

If Your Time is short

  • Las Vegas police said they have received no such reports.

  • Similar rumors are being spread around the country.

As if COVID-19 didn’t spread enough fear on its own, now there is a warning that people sheltering in their homes may become targets of crime.

It comes in a post on Facebook. 

The post refers to Nevada’s largest power company, NV Energy, and uses an unusual abbreviation for COVID. It claims:

"If you are in Las Vegas and you get a knock on your door from NV Power, 2020 Census or CVD-19 testers, do not open your door. They are robbing people at gunpoint."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We’ve rated as False a claim that robbers were going door to door posing as coronavirus testers in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Law enforcement officials in various parts of the country, including Ohio and Florida, as well as in the United Kingdom, have responded to such social media posts by cautioning residents that there is no legitimate coronavirus testing being administered door to door. 

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So, if you do get a knock on the door from a stranger offering coronavirus testing, be careful.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department issued a news release on March 20, 2020, the day before the claim we’re checking was posted. Police warned that "some internet perpetrators are preying on panic" about COVID-19 "by posting false news, rumors or scams," and asked citizens to "check their facts from reliable sources before spreading the rumor." 

The news release also warned citizens of "unverified rumors" about people posing as utility workers or COVID-19 testers trying to get into homes.

But as of March 24, 2020, no incidents like those described in the post had been reported to police, officer Larry Hadfield told PolitiFact.

He said police are not aware of any legitimate utility or census workers going door to door in Las Vegas.

Across the nation, census takers will visit some homes in April 2020 to conduct quality-check interviews or deliver paper questionnaires, and then the next month to help collect responses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which offers instructions on how to verify that someone is working for the census.

Our ruling

A Facebook post warns that armed robbers are going door to door in Las Vegas posing as utility workers, census workers and COVID-19 testers.

Las Vegas police said they have received no such reports and have warned people not to believe internet rumors. We rate the claim False.

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Beware of rumors of robbers posing as COVID testers

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