FBI, police emphasize social media, cell phone hoax-threat awareness

A press conference was held Sept. 4 in Phoenix by area law enforcement officials to remind the public that there are consequences for making false threats. The FBI is using the hashtag #Thinkbeforeyoupost.

The Apache Junction Police Department is sharing this message from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to promote safe cell phone use, Rob McDaniel, AJPD’s community resource coordinator, said in a release.

“Several instances have recently occurred where people used social media or a cell phone to issue threats against schools, churches and business offices,” he said.

“These crimes can be a federal crime for threatening interstate communication, or can fall under state statutes,” Mr. McDaniel said in the release.

The message from the FBI and your local law enforcement partners is:

  • Do not ever post or send a message on line that threatens anyone.
  • If you receive a message that threatens you, contact your local law enforcement agency.  They will help you determine how the investigation should be conducted.
  • Likewise, if you see a message that is of a threatening nature on social media, contact police immediately. AJPD has an anonymous tip line: 480-474-8585, or call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency. The 24-hour, non-emergency number is 480-982-8260.
  • Do not share any message of a threatening nature.  Speak to a law enforcement official first so that the level of concern is evaluated before this information goes further.

The FBI issued its warning earlier this summer. A recap is available at fbi.gov/news/stories/hoax-threats-awareness-052318.

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