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Police warn not to share ‘missing child’ posts on Facebook – it could cost you and your friends

POLICE have warned people to watch out for fake missing child posts on Facebook which are spreading among groups.

There has been an increase in similar hoax posts lately, including missing pets and injured animals.


The scam has been doing the rounds for quite some time nowCredit: Facebook

But it’s actually a sick scam designed to trick well-intentioned users.

And some are worried it could impact genuine emergencies.

One such post uncovered by Full Fact claims an autistic boy called Brayden has gone missing.

“HELP!!! #Hartlepool My son Brayden JOHNSON took off this morning with our dog hank,” it reads.

“He autistic [sic] and has been missing for eight hours if anyone sees him please PM me please re-post on any sites.

“I already contacted police.”

But it’s completely fake.

Fraudsters use it as a way to get loads of people sharing.

Later they can edit the Facebook post and put a dubious link in instead.

This makes it look like you’ve endorsed what ever it is the crooks change the post to, giving friends reason to trust it and click it.

Derbyshire Police Online Safety page warns: “We’ve raised this subject previously, but further similar posts are still being widely shared on community pages.

“Please be aware of hoax posts regarding missing persons, missing pets, injured animals etc.

“Once shared a number of times, the post is edited to something else, such as crypto investments or fake scam giveaways.”

They say one way to tell if it’s false is to see if the comments are disabled.

This is a tactic used by criminals so they can’t raise the alarm to others that it’s fake.

“If the comments are disabled, DO NOT SHARE,” the Police say.

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“Think! If you were trying to locate a vulnerable child, would you really disable comments?”

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