‘Number of coronavirus cases in Lithuania explodes. Over 200 infected. Lockdown at the airport’ - this is the title of fake news in English that might have appeared online on Tuesday. As a print screen of the news shows scammers used Delfi and its journalists' names for the fake story.
As news website 15min.lt announced an editor room got an email with a warning that fake news is spread online. According to the fake news, cases of COVID-19 have increased sharply in Lithuania. Also, it mentioned that people who arrive at Lithuania via Vilnius airport ar held in tents with special „cleaning rooms“. Nevertheless, Delfi did not get the same email with the print screen.
The chief editor of Delfi Rasa Lukaitytė-Vnarauskienė points out that it was not the first time when scammers were using the names of reliable news websites to spread fake news online.
‘These cases show how it is important to stay critical with all photos people see on social media. Commonly, scammers use people’s fair and emotions to create panic. Therefore, it is crucial to use reliable media to get accurate and checked information’, she said.
The fake news about the spread of coronavirus in Lithuania was allegedly published on Delfi article that was published on Monday in Lithuanian version of the website. Moreover, it is written that the authors of the article are three Delfi journalists. However, one of the names is written with a mistake.
According to the Health Ministry of Lithuania, there is still just one case of coronavirus confirmed in Lithuania. Overall, 275 tests for coronavirus were made. 5567 people are under watch.
Furthermore, representatives of Vilnius Airport informed that no actions mentioned in the fake news were held at the airport.
„I want to ask all readers and all airport customers not to trust fake and unreliable information that is spread via strange sources. This period can be used by scammers to spread fake news. Therefore, people should stay cautious and check the information they get’, Tadas Vasiliauskas, representative of Vilnius Airport said.