Facebook caution: falling for sick-child-missing-child scams might be costly

Facebook caution: falling for sick-child-missing-child scams might be costly

Do not fall for this cruel and complex con.

An internet watchdog warns social media users to be wary of new Facebook posts about missing children, claiming they are the work of criminals attempting to steal money.

In recent weeks, social media posts about a missing youngster called Tyler have been circulating, originally appearing to be from the boy’s concerned parents, according to Full Fact.

A popular post from December 13 states, “This is the most recent photo of my kid Tyler Anderson on his first day of school… Last spotted wearing black Converse with purple and red shoelaces and a blue jacket with a zipper.”

The statement says, “He has dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and is approximately 5’4-5’5 and 124 pounds.”

The poem is accompanied by a photograph of a toddler named Tyler. According to Full Fact, however, the image is actually a reused photo of an Australian child.

Above is one of the phony Facebook posts. Full Fact advises people to reconsider sharing posts regarding missing children.

According to The Sun, the fraudsters encourage Facebook users to repost the postings on their own profiles in order to increase notice about the allegedly missing children. The more shares a post receives, the more credible it appears.

Once the material has been extensively circulated, the con artist modifies the original post, converting it into an advertisement for survey or housing websites with embedded links to phony websites.

Because the message has already been posted on the profiles of thousands of individuals, the advertisements appear genuine. Unsuspecting Facebook users who click on the links are prompted to submit their credit card information and then find their bank accounts drained.

Full Fact states, “We have fact-checked a variety of [other] false Facebook posts requesting assistance with missing parents, lost dogs, and even abandoned newborns.” These posts frequently disable comments, preventing other social media users from identifying them as phony.

The missing child posts are not the only recent social media hoax to get widespread notice. In October, an Australian lady said she nearly became a victim of human trafficking after attempting to sell products on Facebook Marketplace.

 

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