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Swiss police investigate fake energy waste advertising campaign

GENEVA – Swiss police are investigating a fake advertising campaign that appeared on social media and showed a poster urging people to storm their neighbors if they heat their home too much. this winter – when an energy crisis is expected to hit Western Europe.

A bogus advertisement that appears in public, such as on a bus stop, offering 200 Swiss francs (about $200) for anonymous tips pointing fingers at people heating the house their more than 19 C (66 F) this winter. The image of the poster is said to have appeared on the Russian social media platform Telegram.

The ad shows a young woman using a mobile phone above the message: “Is your neighbor heating his house above 19 degrees? Please notify us,” above a phone number – reports the Swiss federal ministry of energy. At the top left is the coat of arms of the Swiss Confederation – an unmistakable symbol for most Swiss people.

On its website, the department warned of the “false” message, calling it “manipulation”. Swiss public broadcaster SRF reported that an image of the poster appeared on Russia’s Telegram channels, picked up by Belarus’s Belta news agency, and that Russian TV channel RT recently ran a fake report. about penalizing people who overheat their homes in Switzerland.

The Swiss federal police said on Thursday they had received a complaint about “misuse” of the national emblem and other possible misdemeanors and were investigating.

The Swiss government has launched a campaign to encourage the Swiss not to waste energy amid an expected energy crisis related to a reduction in oil and gas supplies from Russia following the war in Ukraine. . Consumers have been advised to take measures such as lowering the thermostat, covering the pot while cooking, and turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

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