The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority is advising the public to disregard all postings appearing on a fake Facebook social page called “USVI Water and Power Authority”. According to WAPA, the bogus page purports to be an official source of information from the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, and is posting misrepresentations about WAPA.
“Persons unknown have created a fake account, and are using WAPA’s logos, branding, and other advertising and promotion signatures to give the appearance of legitimacy. The authority is working with Facebook to have the bogus account removed, and will take all necessary steps to stop the illegal use of its intellectual properties,” said Executive Director Lawrence J. Kupfer.
The page in question is satirical in nature, but it has caused confusion because it uses WAPA logos and other branding. A post from the page on Sunday following an island-wide WAPA outage was shared over 550 times. The post reads: “A member of the janitorial crew employed to help sweep and mop the power transformers at the Estate Richmond Power Station did not use an OSHA approved grounding mop during the 7:30 pm cleaning of the number 3 transformer bank. Unfortunately, this has resulted in an island wide power outage.
“It is unknown how long it will take to extricate the mop from the coils, but a board of trustees is flying down to assign a crew to the detail.
“Thank you for your obedience.”
While many immediately saw the humor, many others thought the post was a legitimate message from WAPA, which led to more derision of the authority because people believed a mop had caused the hours-long outage.
Mr. Kupfer said Tuesday there is one official WAPA Facebook page, Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority, and “I encourage our customers to continue turning to that page for official information from WAPA,” he said.
In addition, information about the authority is accessible on the utility’s website, www.viwapa.vi, on its telephone messaging system, on Twitter @VIWAPA, and via the free messaging system, WAPA ALERTS.
“Persons who have not already done so are encouraged to visit our website and sign up for WAPA ALERTS. It is a messaging system that allows the authority to inform subscribers about service interruptions, restoration times, planned interruptions, and any impacts to WAPA’s operations,” Mr. Kupfer said.