Millions of Facebook users warned to beware of missing children fake alerts – it is actually a malicious scam

FACEBOOK users have been warned about a nasty scam that plays on the emotions of well-intentioned people.

Sick scammers go around posting fake posts about missing children on Facebook groups.

Fake news usually looks like this

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Fake news usually looks like this

Desperate parents often turn to local community groups online to try and locate children as quickly as possible.

But scammers have used it as an opportunity to rip people off with a malicious trick.

Fact Checking Charity Complete fact reported a number of such posts.

The latest comes from a user who claims to be looking for his son, Tyler, who went missing after finishing school.

Most posts are nearly identical with the same type of description.

“This is the latest picture of my son Tyler White on his first day of school, he went to school yesterday morning and never came back,” reads the latest fake post.

“He was last seen in black Converse with purple and red laces and a blue zip hoodie, has dirty blonde hair, blue eyes and is approximately 5’4-5’5 and weighs 124 pounds.

“Please help me find him.”

The image used in this case actually shows a 14-year-old Australian girl named Maggie who is looking for a bone marrow transplant.

The idea behind the trick is to get people to share the post.

Once many users have shared it, they can edit the post with something completely different.

In many cases, they advertise surveys or housing websites that allow them to make money.

And while you’re sharing it, your friends can accidentally click on it, thinking you’re recommending it.

Often the comments on these posts are also disabled so that other users cannot warn you.

A similar scheme has already been seen with missing dogs.

Full Fact, which is paid by Facebook to check for false information on its platform, has the power to warn people about posts like this with a blur indicating “false information.”

But it’s difficult for experts to track them all down, so if you see missing children’s posts in Facebook groups, be careful and think twice before sharing.

At the same time, you don’t want to ignore genuine cries for help either, so use the tips below to find out if a post is a scam or not.

How to spot a scammer on Facebook

There are ways to find out if the person posting in a group is a scammer or not.

First, click on their profile and see where they are from.

If it says far away from somewhere, that should be an instant red flag.

Then look at the type of account they have.

If they don’t have many friends or followers, that means they are very likely a scammer.

That’s because bad actors usually get caught and have their accounts banned, meaning they have to create a new one every time.

You should also see how long they’ve been a member – if it’s recent, that’s definitely not a good sign.

Check out the comments too, some members are good at highlighting these criminals.

If the comments are blocked, that is also a red flag.

Another tip is to copy and paste the text of your post into Google to see if others have flagged it.

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Finally, you can also do a reverse image search of the pet on Google to see if it has been used elsewhere.

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9965038/facebook-fake-missing-child-scam-warning/ Millions of Facebook users warned to beware of missing children fake alerts – it is actually a malicious scam

Fry Electronics Team

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