Helena Police Chief explains how to spot a scam social media post

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 11:20 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HELENA, Ala. (WBRC) - A post about a missing child and dog circulated on social media Thursday and police say none of it was true.

Scammers are striking again. This time, posting in a local Facebook group called “What’s Happening in Helena?”

The posts read: “HELP!!! #Helena My son Brayden JOHNSON took off this morning with our dog hank. He autistic and has been missing for eight hours if anyone sees him please PM me please re-post on any sites.I already contacted police.”

Some of them also included random hashtags such as #facebook, #facebookpage, #usa, and #family.

Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn says these posts are completely fake. He says criminals like to pull on people’s heartstrings hoping for shares.

Once the post has spread like wildfire, the scammer can change the photos and words to some kind of advertisement with a link, all without your knowledge, and that post remains on your profile.

“At that point, you are unknowingly sharing that scammers information all the other times it’s been shared and on top of that, the link is usually fraudulent so it’s used to obtain personal and credit card information,” said Chief Flynn.

He adds if it looks suspicious, it probably is. The chief also explained that if a child was missing in Helena, the police department would have shared its own post about it on their Facebook page.

If you see a post with many grammatical errors, or posted by someone who is brand new to Facebook, think twice before sharing.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.