Warning over 'faked' Sheffield Council posts purporting to offer information for vulnerable people during lockdown

'Faked' posts have been circulating online claiming to signpost to a Sheffield Council helpline for vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 2:38 pm

The number 0114 205 7120 was shared across social media platforms in posts using Sheffield Council's logo and saying it was to support people with food, gas, electricity and medication, which the council has confirmed were wrong.

In an email, Eugene Walker, executive director for resources, urged colleagues to not share the messages.

He said: "There is info circulating that this is a phone line for vulnerable people to ring for food and other emergency supplies.

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'Faked' posts have been circulating online claiming to signpost to a Sheffield Council helpline for vulnerable people

“We are working on a proposals for this but it is not yet live and EMT (executive management team) do not currently know why this number is being advertised as something it is not.

“Please can I ask that you do not publicise this and recall any retweets or similar until we can investigate on Monday.”

But posts encouraging people to use the number for these purposes already spread quickly across the internet.

The number that was being shared is for council community support workers, who are based in GP surgeries and give advice specifically on things like finding support for carers, advice on transport options and information about joining social activities.

Sheffield Council was contacted for further comment.

The local authority set up a dedicated helpline on 0114 273 4567 last week, offering residents help with things like food deliveries, medicine or mental and emotional wellbeing.