Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    eBook    Contact
Bookmark and Share

Help Matt Dawson - Another Make-A-Wish Foundation Hoax

Email claims that the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate 7 cents to help cancer-sufferer Matt Dawson every time the message is sent onward (Full commentary below.)


Example:(Submitted August 2006)
If you don't believe it, call the number. Everyone needs to take the time and read this. Just take a break from all your other stupid bulletins about who is gonna die or if your love life will suck for 7 years and be serious and do the right thing. Repost this or you have no soul seriously. A kid needs our help so do the right thing.

Hi, my name is Matt Dawson. I am 23 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 cents for every time this message is reposted. For those of you who repost, I thank you so much. But for those who don't repost it, I will still pray for you. Please, if you are a kind person, have a heart. Please, please, PLEASE REPOST THIS MESSAGE AS "READ PLEASE"!

Matt Dawson
[Number Removed] Home

Please feel free to call me for anything.

*hey it wont cost you but 10 seconds of your time

This absurd message is yet another rehash of the long-running Amy Bruce Charity Hoax. There have been several very similar hoaxes that all claim that the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate money to help a sick youngster every time the message is re-posted. From time to time, someone simply substitutes a new name and age for the supposed victim before launching the tired old hoax all over again.

Names used in the hoaxes include Bryan Warner, Chad Briody, Kayla Wightman and others. Perhaps this one was originally intended as a practical joke directed against a real individual named Matt Dawson by a particularly immature "friend". Another widespread hoax email about a missing "child" named Ashley Flores began in this way. At 23, Mr Dawson is well and truly an adult and would not be eligible for assistance from an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

In any case, the Make-A-Wish Foundation would never participate in an outlandish charity drive that was dependent upon how many times a particular email was forwarded. Nor would any other legitimate charity. Any email that makes such a claim is almost certainly a hoax.

Moreover, even if such a fundraising effort was real, there is no reliable method of tracking an individual message on its random journey through Cyberspace. Therefore keeping an accurate record of how much money was due to be donated would be next to impossible.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has published a web page about these hoax emails and denies any involvement:
Each day, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and its chapters receive hundreds of inquiries about chain letters claiming to be associated with the Foundation and featuring sick children. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes.
The Foundation also notes:
The time and expense required to respond to these inquiries distracts the Foundation from its efforts on behalf of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and more importantly, can divulge information that is potentially harmful to a child and his or her family.
If you receive one of these fake charity requests please inform the sender that the message is a hoax and do not send it to others.

Make-A-Wish Foundation: About Us: Chain Letters

Last updated: 7th September 2006
First published: 7th September 2006

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen