April Fools stunt goes “too far”
Wednesday, 2nd April, 2014
By Emily Roberts
An April Fool’s prank has turned sour after a local man had his identity stolen.
A Facebook status was posted on a private group, under the name of Damien Fisher, yesterday morning alleging that Mayor Wincen Cuy and Councillor Darriea Turley were involved in a secret relationship.
It went on to say, “as (a) result of their infidelity being exposed and Wincen’s marriage breakdown ... Mayor Wincen (Cuy) has decided in the best interests of the community to step aside as Mayor”.
The status invited locals to call radio station 2BH, where Mr Fisher works, live or email them.
It ended by using the “Keeping it Local and Keeping it Real” slogan that 2BH and HillFM use to sign off on Facebook.
Mr Fisher said he didn’t find out about it until he got to work.
“Tali (2BH and HillFM journalist/announcer Tali Eley) and I were doing the breakfast show,” he said.
“We did our own April Fool’s joke which included shutting down the airport because gold had been found.
“I didn’t know about the status until Tali mentioned it to me. I was very surprised.”
Mr Fisher said he would never say anything like that.
“There is no way. I am not that dumb,” he said.
“I was in total shock. April Fool’s is about having some fun, but that was going too far. It’s too personal.”
Mr Fisher said he spoke with Mayor Cuy and Clr Turley and told them the Facebook profile didn’t belong to him.
“We’ve reported it to the police,” he said.
“Being impersonated was a real wake up call. I need to look at how protected my Facebook is.
“I think it will be a wake up call for a lot of people.”
Mr Fisher said the comments could have landed him in a lot of trouble.
“I could have been thrown in a court room and sued. They are very derogatory comments,” he said.
Clr Turley said it was all very tacky.
“It is very disappointing to see an identity theft of a Broken Hill radio personality used to attack the Mayor, myself and our families in the guise of an April Fool’s Day joke,” she said.
“It is a very sad day in Broken Hill when one of our residents act in such an evil manner.”
Mayor Cuy said they are letting the police deal with it.
Barrier Local Area Command Crime Manager Mick Stoltenberg said police were very concerned.
“What may have set out to be a practice joke has seen identity theft take place, which is something we take very seriously,” he said.
“Anyone found to have taken part in such acts can be charged with criminal offences.”