A warning is spreading across social media that warns readers not to open their door for a woman who is “crying and screaming” as this is a method used by gangs to enter houses.
The warning comes attached to an alleged perpetrator and a video allegedly of her (and her gang) in action.
* WARNING * PLEASE READ *
DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR TO THIS WOMAN. The plan is to knock and bang your door crying and screaming that people are chasing her.
Then when you open up to let her in, a gang come into your house to rob and beat you. Be careful & please share
TL;DR: The video shows a real crime but doesn’t match the description in the post. The photo of the woman does not appear to have been involved with that crime.
The warning has spread in both Birmingham and London claiming the crimes were being committed in both of those areas.
The video attached to the warning does show a real crime being committed, although it does not match the description in the attached warning. In the video, taken in East London in February 2016, the woman is not “screaming and crying” but is pretending to be a courier with a package in order to lure the victim – a 69 year old man – to open the door, at which point two of her accomplices forced their way in.
However the woman in the video is not the same woman whose photo also comes attached to this warning. The woman in the video was Ioana Costache, who was subsequently arrested along with her accomplices and given a custodial jail sentence of up to 8 years. The story was covered in the media here.
The woman’s identity in the photo that comes attached to this warning is unknown, and we do not know if she is connected to this type of crime or not.
As such, we don’t recommend spreading her photo since this is essentially “trial by social media”. The woman may be completely innocent and her photo used maliciously.