AP

Swiss police investigate fake ad campaign on energy wasting

Sep 15, 2022, 8:50 AM | Updated: 9:44 am

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss police are investigating a fake advertising campaign that appeared on social media and shows a poster urging people to snitch on their neighbors if they heat their homes too much this winter — when an energy crunch is expected to hit Western Europe.

The bogus ad, which appears to be in public such as on a bus stop shelter, offers 200 Swiss francs (about $200) for anonymous tips that point the finger at people who heat their homes more than 19 C (66 F) this winter. Pictures of the poster reportedly turned up on the Russian social media platform Telegram.

The ad shows a young woman on a mobile phone above the message: “Is your neighbor heating his home above 19 degrees? Please inform us,” above a phone number — reportedly of the Swiss federal energy department. At top left is the Swiss Confederation’s coat of arms — a logo unmistakable to nearly all Swiss.

On its website, the department warned against the “false” message and called it a “manipulation.” Swiss public broadcaster SRF reported that pictures of the poster appeared on Russian Telegram channels, were picked up by Belarus’ Belta news agency, and the Russian television channel RT recently ran a fake report on fines for people who heat their homes excessively in Switzerland.

The Swiss federal police said Thursday they had received a complaint for “abusive use” of the coat of arms and other possible misdemeanors, and were investigating.

The Swiss government has launched a campaign encouraging the Swiss not to waste energy amid the expected energy crunch linked to reduced supplies of oil and gas from Russia in the wake of its war in Ukraine. Consumers have been advised to take measures such as lowering the thermostat, covering pots and pans while cooking, and turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

16 hours ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

16 hours ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential candida...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump agree to hold presidential debates in June and in September

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to hold two campaign debates, on June 27 hosted by CNN and on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Swiss police investigate fake ad campaign on energy wasting