Police warn against sharing ‘missing children’ posts on Facebook – it could cost you and your friends
POLICE have warned people to keep an eye out on Facebook for fake posts about missing children spreading among groups.
Recently, there has been an increase in similar hoax posts, including missing pets and injured animals.
But it is actually a sick scam that aims to trick users with good intentions.
And some worry it could impact real emergencies.
One such post was uncovered by Complete fact claims an autistic boy named Brayden has disappeared.
“HELP!!! #Hartlepool My son Brayden JOHNSON took off with our dog Hank this morning,” it said.
“He’s autistic [sic] and has been missing for eight hours if anyone sees him please PM me please repost on any pages.
“I have already contacted the police.”
But it’s completely fake.
Scammers use it to get a lot of people to share.
Later, they can edit the Facebook post and paste a dubious link instead.
This makes it look like you supported whatever the crooks changed the post into and gave your friends reason to trust it and click on it.
Derbyshire Police online safety page warns: “We have raised this issue before but other similar posts are still widely shared on community sites.
“Please be aware of false reports about missing people, missing pets, injured animals, etc.
“After the post has been shared multiple times, it will be edited into something else, e.g. B. to crypto investments or fake scam gifts.”
They say one way to tell if it’s fake is to see if the comments are turned off.
This is a tactic used by criminals so they can’t alert others that it’s fake.
“If comments are disabled, DO NOT SHARE,” police say.
“Think about it! If you were trying to track down a vulnerable child, would you really turn off comments?”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/10160801/police-warn-missing-child-hoax-facebook/ Police warn against sharing ‘missing children’ posts on Facebook – it could cost you and your friends