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Issue 112 - March 2011 - Page 9

Amber Alert Hoax - Mitsubishi Eclipse With Plate Number 98B351

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Outline
Message purporting to be an Amber Alert claims that a three year old boy was taken by a man in Rochester MI driving a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse with the number plate 98B351.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are false.The message is not a valid Amber Alert and there is no abduction case like the one described. The message is a long running hoax and should not be forwarded or reposted.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 14th February 2011
First published: 14th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
AMBER ALERT ***STOP PLAYING FOR A MINUTE-COPY AND RE-POST! 3 YR OLD BOY TAKEN BY MAN IN ROCHESTER MI DRIVING 2006 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE. PLATE #98B351 RE POST NOW!!!!! I hope to see this repeated on this page many many times, a child is in DANGER !!!Come on friends... maybe we can help this little boy

Facebook Fake amber alert - PLATE #98B351

Twitter Fake amber alert - PLATE #98B351




Detailed Analysis
This message, which circulates via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks as well as via email, claims that a three year old boy was taken by a man in Rochester, Michigan who was driving a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse with the number plate 98B351. The message, which purports to be an Amber Alert, urges recipients to repost the information in the hope that someone has seen the vehicle and can help the little boy.

However, the claims in the message are untrue. The message does not describe a genuine abduction case and no such Amber Alert is in effect. The message should NOT be reposted or forwarded.

Variants of the same false alert have been circulating in various formats since at least 2009. The original version of the hoax message is very similar to the above examples except that it omits the Rochester reference. Another early version is virtually identical except that it claims that the boy was taken by a Mitsubishi Eclipse driver in Oregon. Others relocate the Mitsubishi Eclipse driver to Stamford, Delaware, and elsewhere in the United States. Some versions even move the location outside of the United States, including places in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Yet another widely circulated variant claims that the boy was taken in Stockton by a man driving a 96 BMW with the number plate, 98B351NM.

The "Rochester" version shown in the above examples appears to be the most commonly circulated version of the hoax at the time of writing. All versions are equally false. There is not, nor has there ever been a valid Amber Alert like the ones described in these hoax messages.

Sadly, some instances of the hoax message have become dangerously mingled with information and photographs about real missing children. In early 2010, the following version began circulating:
AMBER ALERT******** STOP PLAYING FOR A MINUTE-COPY AND REPOST! 3 YR (RYLEE ALEXANN FOLAN) WAS TAKEN BY MAN IN ROSEVILLE, MI DRIVING 2006 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE. PLATE #98B351 REPOST NOW! SERIOUSLY!!!!!!! I hope to see this repeated on this page many times
While 10 month old Rylee was indeed the subject of an Amber Alert, the circumstances of her kidnapping had no relation whatsoever to the fake Amber Alert show in the above example. Rylee was taken by her biological mother and was found unharmed soon after the Amber Alert was issued. Another version included a photograph of Jewel Strong, a three year old who went missing presumed drowned after a swimming accident in May 2006. Again, the Jewel Strong case had no connection to the "Amber Alert" described in the hoax message.

Fake Amber Alert messages are not uncommon. Before forwarding any Amber Alert message, recipients should always check that they are legitimate and current by visiting the official Amber Alert Program page on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website. Forwarding or reposting hoax Amber Alerts or other fake missing child messages is far from harmless. Sending on such misinformation will certainly not help any missing children and may significantly lessen the impact of genuine missing child alerts. Missing child hoaxes also waste the time and resources of police authorities and other organizations such as the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children who must continually answer questions about the hoaxes from concerned members of the public.

If you receive one of these Amber Alert hoaxes, please do not repost or forward it. And please take a moment to let the sender know that the message is a hoax.

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References
Amber Alert Baby Found Unharmed
Plea to Help Find Missing Three Year Old Girl - Jewel Strong
AMBER Alert Program
Missing Child Hoaxes
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children



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Issue 112 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Money Laundering Scam - Christchurch Earthquake Charity Support Job
  2. False Claim - Viral Video Shows 92 Year Old Ginger Rogers Dancing With Her Great Grandson
  3. Flu Remedy Myth - Onions Absorb Viruses and Bacteria From a Room
  4. False Claim - Onions are Magnets for Bacteria
  5. The Fly in the Urinal - Schiphol Airport Toilet Aim Improvement Technique
  6. Blackberry Award Advance Fee Scam
  7. Overblown Warning - Phone Numbers Now On Facebook
  8. UK Post Office Online Reward Program Phishing Scam
  9. Amber Alert Hoax - Mitsubishi Eclipse With Plate Number 98B351
  10. Hitman Payoff Scam Email
  11. Facebook 'See Who Viewed Your Profile' Scams - Rogue 'Stalker' Apps
  12. Analysis of a Hijacked Account Overpayment Scam - Boat and Trailer For Sale
  13. Tick Removal Advice - Liquid Soap Technique
  14. Does Rubbing Vicks VapourRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
  15. Mike The Hacker Scam Emails
  16. DVLA Update Driver's Licence Phishing Scam
  17. Plea to Help Find Homes for 52 Thoroughbred Horses
  18. Prime Minister Howard - Muslims Out Of Australia
  19. Unsubstantiated Rumours Claim Michelle Obama is Pregnant
  20. AOL 'Billing Update Must be Performed' Phishing Scam
  21. Health Canada Warning - Over The Counter Drug Recall
  22. Do Not Call - Mobile Phones Going Public Hoax
  23. Facebook Grant Award Advance Fee Scam
  24. Post Express 'Incorrect Delivery Address' Malware Emails
  25. Adobe Acrobat Upgrade Phishing Scam Emails
  26. Mobile Phone Tips - Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  27. Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam