Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
Bookmark and Share

Issue 113 - April 2011 - Page 2

Internet Rumour: Ramsgate Abduction Attempts - Man With Grey Hair & Glasses Driving a Red Car

Issue 113 Start Menu

Previous Article            Next Article

Message circulating via social media claims that a man with grey hair & glasses driving a red car has been attempting to abduct children near schools in the Ramsgate (UK) area.

Brief Analysis
Police are investigating two abduction attempts in the Thanet region of the UK and suspect that the two cases may be linked. However, they warn that speculation and misinformation circulating via the Internet about these cases may hinder the investigation.

Bookmark and Share
Detailed analysis and references below example.

Scroll down to submit comments
Last updated: 24th March 2011
First published: 24th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

TO ALL PARENTS! A man with grey hair & glasses driving a red car has been atempting to abduct children in the Ramsgate area. He has been seen around newington, jackie bakers & charles dickens school, he has been hanging around where children have been playing learning their names then trying to tempt them into getting into his car. Police are aware. Pass this on to all you know & keep our kids safe xx..

Ramsgate Abducatio Attempts Message

Detailed Analysis
This message, which is circulating rapidly around Facebook and other social networks, warns that a man with grey hair & glasses driving a red car has been attempting to abduct children near schools in the Ramsgate area. It claims that the man hangs around where children play and tries to tempt them to go in the car with him. The message also claims that police are aware of the abduction attempts and asks that users pass on the information to warn others. The location specified in the message apparently refers to the seaside town of Ramsgate, in east Kent, UK.

Recent news reports indicate that Kent police are investigation two abduction attempts involving children in the Thanet region of the UK, specifically Ramsgate and Margate. In one case, a man encouraged a five year old girl to get into his car. In the second incident, a man entered a house yard and spoke to a three year old boy. Police say that the two cases may be linked.

However, police are concerned that widespread rumours such as this one may hinder the investigation. An article about the incidents on notes:
DS John Cooper said: "Clearly these incidents are concerning and we are keen to hear from anyone who has any information that will help us with our investigations."

The officer warned that speculation on the internet could hinder their enquiries.

He said: "There has been a great deal of speculation and misinformation via the internet about these cases, and although I appreciate these messages are being circulated with the best of intentions, what we need is factual information that will allow us to run an effective investigation.
The message is quite similar to another recent UK based rumour that claimed that "someone driving a white van with a red dragon on it" had been seen abducting children. Th "dragon van" rumour remains unsubstantiated and unsupported by any credible evidence.

A real problem with these types of rumours is that they are often too vague to be useful, even if are derived from real incidents. It is quite likely that "a man with grey hair & glasses driving a red car" could be spotted at any major school. That description could fit fathers and grand-fathers picking up or dropping off children, along with teachers, other school staff or legitimate school visitors. In fact, unless they are verified as factual, such rumours can do more harm than good. Often, they waste the time and resources of police who must field endless enquiries about the messages from concerned members of the public. They may also unfairly impact on the lives of innocent people who just happen to fit the description supplied in the messages.

And, the messages often mutate as they travel. Locations and other details are often altered, further adding to the confusion created by such rumours.

Social media can be a rapid and useful way of spreading information in abduction cases. However, before reposting such a message it is important to verify that it describes a real incident. It is also important that the message contains clear, accurate and verifiable information about the incident.

Bookmark and Share References
Police call for help after abduction attempts
White Van with Red Dragon Abduction Alert Messages

Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 113 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. "Photo U Got Tagged In" Rogue App
  2. Internet Rumour: Ramsgate Abduction Attempts - Man With Grey Hair & Glasses Driving a Red Car
  3. Little Rupert The One Pound Deer
  4. Is Lemon A Cancer Killer That is 10,000 Times Stronger Than Chemotherapy?
  5. Modelling Agency Overpayment Scam
  6. Japanese Tsunami 'Whale into Building' Clickjacking Scam
  7. Hacker Warning Hoax - Do Not Accept Friend Requests From Bobby Roberts
  8. DHL Notification Malware Email
  9. Crosses on the Beach at Santa Barbara - ACLU Suit Against Military Crosses And Prayer in the Military?
  10. Scammers Exploit 'Facebook Closing Down' Hoaxes via Rogue Apps
  11. July 2011 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  12. Craigslist iPad Giveaway Survey Scam
  13. Buscopan Syrup Recall Warning
  14. Facebook 'Virus Alert' - Charlie Sheen Found Dead
  15. White Van with Red Dragon Abduction Alert Messages
  16. Crocodile In Sugar Mill Sump
  17. Australian Tax Refund Scam Email
  18. Dog Comes Home With Deadly Snake Around His Snout
  19. Bogus Hacker Warning - &#039 Between First and Second Names in Facebook Chat
  20. False Virus Warning - Do Not Add "Smartgrrl15" Because Its a Virus
  21. New Prison Photographs - Prison vs Work
  22. Pepsi Can Email Hoax
  23. False Story Claims 450 Gaza Grooms Wed Girls Under Ten in Mass Muslim Marriage
  24. Baby Pacey Moore Prayer Request
  25. Slow Dance Charity Hoax
  26. Fake BBC News Alert Warns of Radiation Rain in Asian Countries
  27. Yahoo Account Phishing Scam Email