The Amber Alert is fake, so please stop mass sharing it. When something actually happens, people will become apathetic and somebody will legitimately get hurt or go unhelped. If you were eager to share this disinformation, I hope you’ll be as eager to share the truth. The next time you see an alert like this, please take a second to verify the information, and even just read the message for details. You can see below that the message has been altered to become more and more vague, yet play on your guilt. Become a smarter traveler of the universe, and help avoid social media hysteria over nothing.
Updated 08/04/11: The “72B 381″ Amber Alert hoax is making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter again. It’s still false (see history below). As of the past few months, the viral text now claims the alleged abduction took place in Edmonton, Kentucky, and that the perpetrator’s car has a Quebec license plate:
AMBER ALERT!!! Edmonton, Kentucky USA little girl, 3 yrs old picked up by man driving grey car, license plate: Quebec 72B 381. Canada. Put this as your status. It could save her. This kidnapping is recent so do it, 3 seconds will not kill you. If it were your child.... what would you want people to do. Just now happening!!!!! please...
Updated 04/19/10: After a weekend lull, the “72B381″ Amber Alert hoax is going strong again on Facebook. New variant claims it’s a Washington state license plate:
A little Boy, 5 years old was picked up by a man driving a grey car, license was plated Washington 72B 381. Copy and paste this as your status. It could save that little boy. This kidnapping is recent! So do it, 3 seconds won't kill you. We should have Amber Alerts posted in FB automatically from a friend to pass it on!
Updated 04/15/10: The Amber Alert hoax is currently running rampant on Facebook, with the latest variants claiming a 3-year-old girl was abducted in either Edmonton, Alberta or Edmonton, Kentucky by a man driving a grey car with Quebec license plates, number 72B 381.
AMBER ALERT!!! In Edmonton ALBERTA - A little girl, 3 years old was picked up by a man driving a grey car lisecnse was plated Quebec 72B 381. Copy 'n paste this as your status. It could save that little girl. This kiddnapping is recent! so do it, 3 seconds won't kill you. Spread the word
AMBER ALERT!!!!!!!! In Edmonton, Ky - A little girl, 3 years old was picked up by a man driving a grey car, license was plated Quebec 72B 381. Copy and paste this as your status. it could save that little girl. This kidnapping is recent! so do it, 3 seconds will not kill you spread the word!
Updated 09/22/09: FAKE AMBER ALERT now circulating simultaneously in Morgan Hill and Newbury Park, California.
Amber alert: 3 yr old girl taken by a man in Morgan hill driving a new silver yukon NY plates 72B381. KEEP IT G0ING!
RT AMBER ALERT: 3 yro girl taken by man driving a new silver Yukon NY Plates 72B 381. KEEP IT GOING She's frm Newbury Park
Updated 09/08/09: That months-old Amber Alert hoax is circulating again, this time localized in Stockton, California. False Twitter message reads as follows:
AMBER ALERT! 3 YR old GIRL taken from STOCKTON, CA by MAN driving NEW SILVER TRUCK plate 72B381. Please pass this on!
Updated 07/13/09: The same fake Amber Alert that fooled tens of thousands of people last February is making the Twitter rounds again, with a vengeance. The only essential change is that the text now claims the abducted child is three years old, not seven. The locale is currently specified as Idaho Falls, Idaho. (Your updates are welcome below.)
If you receive this message or any variant thereof, please inform all senders it’s a hoax:
RT **AMBER ALERT** 3 YR OLD GIRL WAS TAKEN BY A MAN DRIVING A NEWER SILVER TRUCK IN IDAHO FALLS,ID LIC. PLATE #72B381. KEEP it goin
Originally Posted 02/10/09: It’s a veritable case study in how fast and how far hoaxes can mutate and spread via social media.
An unofficial Amber Alert that apparently originated in Salt Lake City last Sunday night crisscrossed the country over the following two days, convincing well-meaning text messagers and Twitter users from Maryland to California that a 7-year-old girl in their state had been abducted by a man driving a “newer silver truck” with the license plate number 72B381.
The message is false. Police say there are no real missing-person cases fitting that description.
A very early version of the alert read as follows:
FWD: FWD: FW: AMBER ALERT A 7 yr old girl was taken by a man driving a newer silver truck. The license plate reads 72b381 please please pass on.
By the time Utah authorities disavowed the bogus message on Monday, it had already spread to Wisconsin…
Retweet: AMBER ALERT. A seven year old girl was taken by a man driving a newer silver truck. license plate # 72B381 Menomonie area FWD PLZ
…not to mention Woodward, Oklahoma…
AMBER ALERT!! A 7yr old girl was taken from Woodward by a man driving a newer silver truck plate # 72B381, please forward!
…and on to Tulsa…
TULSA AMBER ALERT - 7 year old girl taken from woodward park by man in newer silver truck with plate number 72B381
From there, the Amber Alert hoax migrated to Fresno, California; Yuma, Arizona; Mahnomen, Minnesota; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Albany, Oregon; and many points in between. As of this writing, the bogus message is still circulating at a rapid clip in parts of Ohio and spreading into Iowa.
The geographical progression of the hoax can be roughly tracked by examining the Twitter search results for messages (several hundred of them so far, and counting) containing the bogus license plate number, “72B381.”
FYI, Amber Alerts can (and clearly should) be authenticated by checking the Active Amber Alerts page on the website of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Filed Under: LDU Originals
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