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Issue 119 - October 2011 - Page 2

Amy Bruce Charity Hoax Revisited

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Outline
Message circulating via social media claims that 7 year old cancer sufferer Amy Bruce will receive 7 from the Make-A-Wish Foundation every time the information is reposted.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are completely false. The message is nothing more than a Facebook driven version of a very old hoax that has circulated via email since 1999. The Make-A-Wish Foundation - or any other legitimate organization - will certainly not donate money based on how many times a message is reposted. Any message that makes such an utterly absurd claim is certain to be a hoax and should not be reposted.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 8th September 2011
First published: 8th September 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
7 yr old with Cancer (this child is local) Hi, my name is Amy Bruce. I am 7 years old, and I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. 'The Make A Wish Foundation' has agreed to donate 7 for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much. But for those who don't send it, I will still pray for you..(HOW CAN WE REFUSE TO PASS THIS ALONG )

Amy Bruce Hoax on Facebook




Detailed Analysis
According to a message that is currently sweeping around Facebook, seven year old cancer patient Amy Bruce will soon die if her family does not receive help to pay for medical expenses. But help is at hand, claims the message, because the Make-A-Wish Foundation has agreed to donate 7 each and every time that the message is sent on. Supposedly, all the recipient need do to help poor little Amy is simply repost the message.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Sending on the message will not help a sick child in any way whatsoever. And the Make-A-Wish Foundation will certainly not donate money to anyone based on how many times a ridiculous message is reposted. In fact, the message is nothing more than a Facebook flavoured variant of a hoax that has circulated via email since way back in 1999. In the original, email version (included below) Amy was supposedly to receive 7 cents per message not 7 pounds as claimed in the social media version:
Hi, my name is Amy Bruce.

I am 7 years old, and I have severe lung cancer . I also have a large tumor in my brain, from repeated beatings. Doctors say I will die soon if! this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. The Make A Wish Foundation, has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much, but for those who don't send it, what goes around comes around. Have a Heart, please send this.

Please, if you are a kind person, send this on.

PLEASE HIT FORWARD BUTTON NOT REPLY BUTTON.
The original message was just as much a hoax as the current Facebook version. There is no evidence that the "Amy Bruce" featured in the hoax message ever existed. Moreover, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has denied any involvement in such an absurd fundraising scheme.

And it seems that, along with her other medical woes, the hapless Amy is stuck in perpetual childhood. She has now been seven years old for well over a decade, it seems.

There is an entire, sorry series of "money for forwarding" hoaxes that have circulated in various formats for many years. In short, any message in any format that claims that money will be donated in exchange for forwarding or reposting is certain to be a hoax. The very concept is illogical and absurd in the extreme. No sane entity is ever likely to participate in a scheme in which an amount to be donated is dependent on how many times a message is forwarded or reposted. Moreover, these messages do not specify time frames or impose any sorts of limits on the supposed largess of the donating entity. If the scheme was real, after millions of repostings over many years, young Amy would now be very wealthy (and the Foundation would be resoundingly broke).

Furthermore, even if such a resoundingly foolish fundraising scheme was to be initiated, there would simply be no reliable or ethical way of tracking how many times a message was sent and, therefore, how much money was to be donated. The implementation of any form of reliable message tracking system is even more vastly improbable on Facebook than it is for email.

Such charity hoaxes are especially reprehensible. They waste the precious time and resources of charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation who must answer endless enquiries from members of the public about non-existent sick children. They make it less likely that people will support genuine charity fundraising activities. And they clutter our social networks with even more utterly useless garbage.

If you receive one of these fake money for forwarding charity requests, please do not repost it. And please help to stop its spread by informing the original poster that the message is a hoax. The hoax message poses the question "how can we refuse to pass this along?" I would suggest that anyone who employs a little logic and common sense will "refuse to pass it along" because they will quickly realize that the claims in the message are absurd. And, passing on such nonsense is likely to make you appear foolish and naive to at least some of your Facebook friends.

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References
Amy Bruce Charity Hoax
Make-A-Wish Foundation - Fraud Alerts
Charity Hoaxes



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Issue 119 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Jordon Mills Prayer Request
  2. Amy Bruce Charity Hoax Revisited
  3. 'Australian Taxation Office 'New Rules' Malware Emails
  4. Bogus Facebook Virus Warning - 'Pornographic Movies Posted On Our Behalf'
  5. Are UK Companies Required by Law To Transfer 0800 Callers to UK Based Reps If Requested?
  6. Australia Post Undelivered Package Malware Emails
  7. Hoax: Picture of Shark Swimming in Flooded Street After Hurricane Irene
  8. Circulating Health Warning: Beware of Little White and Black Caterpillars
  9. Harly A. Andrews Prayer Request
  10. UEFA EURO 2012 Email Draw Advance Fee Scam
  11. Farmville White Gift Box Virus Warning Hoax
  12. Sleazy Online Dating Emails Carry Malware
  13. 'New Antivirus Update for Windows' Scam Email
  14. Western Union 'Money Transfer' Trojan Email
  15. Bob Katter and the 'Labor Party's Worst Nightmare' Polemic
  16. Hoax - Collect Bottle Caps For Free Cancer Chemotherapy Treatment
  17. 'Your Credit Card is Blocked' Malware Emails