Watch out for fake online reports of attacks on Muslims, say police

Police are warning people to be wary of fake reports of attacks on Muslims being circulated on social media.

The hoax reports include stories and photos of women allegedly being assaulted in the West Midlands, with the attacks either being completely false or taking place in another country.

West Midlands Police say that they have investigated all of the claims and discovered they are untrue.

Among the fake reports is one of a hammer thug attacking people in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, and another assault being shared on social media actually taking place in the United States, with a faked image of the victim used.

In a rare move, West Midlands Police tweeted a warning asking the public to check the accuracy and “exercise caution” before sharing images over social media channels.

The statement entitled ‘Hoax/Fake messages’ read: “Over the last few days a number of stories and images have been circulating about assaults and attacks on the Muslim community.

Social media.

“We have looked into these and can assure you that they are a hoax.

“Information about a man with a hammer assaulting people yesterday was false information.

“There are two images circulating of women who have been assaulted. One of the ladies in the red scarf is the victim of an assault, however this has occurred in Ohio, USA.

“The other of a lady in a green scarf is not a victim of an assault but the work of a Malaysian make-up artist for a production.

“We urge anyone to exercise caution when sharing news/images particularly on social media.

“Please be responsible and check the accuracy of what you are sharing so that you do not cause unnecessary distress and fear in the community. Thank you.”