The Augusta Police Department is warning the public that someone has created a fake police Facebook page that is posting false stories, according to a news release from the department.

“The spoofed page looks almost identical to our legitimate page but has several less postings, likes and activity,” Deputy Chief Jared Mills wrote in the release.

Mills said the fake page includes several false stories, including one about three children being killed by their mother and a family of five killed in a car accident.

Police are investigating and are working to have the false page taken down.

Earlier this month, Skowhegan police reported a similar incident in which a fake Facebook page posted a story claiming that there had been a triple murder in town. At that time, Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said he had not heard of any other Facebook hoaxes in Maine affecting police agencies.

“We hear of Facebook fraud often,” Sgt. Kyle Willette at the Maine Computer Crimes Task Force said Dec. 5. “We’ve taken a number of calls where people have either been the victim of crimes over the internet through their Facebook accounts or through other social media accounts, and we take calls fairly often about accounts that have been compromised in one way or another.”

He said law enforcement agencies are users of social media and are just as vulnerable as the general public to hackers and mischief makers.

It is unclear whether it is a crime to create a Facebook pages that spoofs police agencies.

“We are reviewing the existing (statutes) to see if anything fits,” Mills said via email late Thursday. “At this point there is nothing obvious that fits.”

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