How Can I Find Them? They Haven't Gone Missing!

| | Comments (0)
I've often highlighted the utterly worthless spam messages that seem to endlessly circulate on Facebook, usually warning not to add (insert random name here) because they're an evil hacker and will destroy your PC, kill your family and so on.

Well, today I came across another such message:

norris1.jpg


.....insert gag about them being related to Chuck here....but underneath that message was something far more interesting:

norris2.gif


Sounds serious, right? It seems personal, because it's their friend missing which adds a little more urgency - they provide a contact email address to notify them on, and it mentions a real world example of someone who went missing and was found via the Internet.

However.

Dig into this a little bit, and it all becomes clear quite quickly that something isn't quite right here. For starters, search for the missing persons name and there is no mention of him ever "going missing". Nothing on websites, news pages....it's like the whole thing is a work of fiction. In fact, buried in unrelated entries is the following snippet from a page on myyearbook.com:

norris3.jpg

Click to Enlarge

Check out the name of the "hacker" you shouldn't add. It seems someone has simply swiped the name and started pasting it into spam messages. A quick search of Facebook confirms the name and face go together.

A quick search for the email address listed as a contact brings up more interesting posts, this time posted to a personal blog:

norris5.gif

Click to Enlarge

Same text....same reference to "real world" example....same email address. This person sure does get through a lot of missing friends! Note that this "missing person" chain letter has now stepped outside of Facebook and into other websites and networks.

At this point, you're probably wondering about the validity of the "real world" example, aren't you? Well, that would be a good idea! Notice they don't give any detail - it simply says "That is how the girl from Stevens Point was found by circulation of her picture on TV", and expect you to accept it as is. If you go searching for that phrase, it doesn't take long to find a page on Snopes.com regarding a missing girl hoax that stretches back some years:

"Please look at the picture, read what her father says, then forward his message on. Maybe if everyone passes this on, someone will see this child. That is how the girl from Stevens Point was found by circulation of her picture on tv..."

An email hoax, wrapped up and repackaged for the Facebook generation.


Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Christopher Boyd published on July 9, 2008 1:45 PM.

"Interesting" Advert Placements On Facebook was the previous entry in this blog.

More Websites Asking For MSN Logins... is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.