A prank call and a hacked Facebook page led to a police alert concerning a polar bear invasion that proved to be false.
Last Sunday night, Sauðárkrókur chief of police Stefán Vagn Stefánsson received a phone call from an anonymous source. He was directed to a Facebook post, supposedly made by the captain of a freezer trawler that was positioned just off the coast of Skaga, near the town of Sauðárkrókur.
The status post read that three polar bears were spotted swimming close to the shore of Skaga. An attached photo of three bears swimming seemed to confirm this.
Stefán told RÚV that immediately, he mentally assessed what sort of preparations and responses the police might need to take to the situation, but chose to wait to see how the matter might unfold.
It turned out that the event was a prank. The trawler captain had apparently left his Facebook page open, and unnamed crew took advantage of the situation to make the hoax status post, and the phone call.
Stefán warned all would-be pranksters that polar bears are nothing to joke about. There has been a lot of sea ice near the Skaga coast lately, which has had professionals in the area already aware of the possibility of them.
The incident also underscores the grave importance of never, ever leaving your signed-in Facebook page open and unattended.