The Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs has denied the contents of a WhatsApp message which circulated today advising persons that the Welfare Department was distributing $300 grants to families in need.
Acting Chief Welfare Officer, Lorraine Willett, reported that a number of persons turned up at the headquarters today, stating that they were there to collect the $300 food vouchers being given away by the department.
The source of this false information was traced to a WhatsApp message which further urged persons to turn up early to get in line.
The Ministry, in a statement, condemned this action, stating that not only was it against the law, but it also took advantage of vulnerable people who believed it to be true.
“These people left their homes and came here because someone maliciously shared false information. This is wrong at any time, but particularly at this time when there is anxiety in the community regarding COVID-19. ‘We urge members of the public to desist from this irresponsible behaviour,” the statement said.
The Ministry further advised persons to visit the Barbados Government Information Service’s website, to verify information purporting to come from any Government department.