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False Amber Alert Text Message Appearing on Some Oregon Cell Phones
04/16/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
 
Detective Sergeant Marv Hammersley
Albany Police Department
Office: (541) 917-3209

Oregon State Police is confirming reports of a false Amber Alert being received by some people in the Willamette Valley area as a text message on their cell phones. There are no active Amber Alerts in Oregon at this time.
 
During the last two days, a text message is starting to be received on some cell phones with an emphasis to send it to others. The message reads:
 
"AMBER ALERT! Albany area-2 little girls kidnapped around noon. Suspect is driving brown jeep liberty. Plate number 43 6519 please send to everyone".
 
Albany, Oregon Police Department has confirmed there are no reports of a kidnapping in their area and this information is a hoax. Their agency is interested in learning the source of this information.
 
Oregon State Police Lieutenant James Rentz, Oregon Amber Alert Coordinator, is very concerned about these false text message alerts and learned a near similar text message is being reported in other parts of the country.
 
"This information is beginning to spread and a near similar text message has been popping up in other areas around the country including Vermont, Mississippi and New York. After receiving some calls concerning this alert, we immediately confirmed it was a hoax and it is being looked into to determine where it may have originated from," said Rentz.
 
The Amber Alert Plan is a critical missing child response program that utilizes resources of law enforcement and media to notify the public when children are kidnapped. Speedy distribution of information is key when trying to locate abducted children, but false information can impact the program's effectiveness and the public's confidence.
 
Oregon Amber Alerts originate out of the Oregon State Police Northern Command Center in Salem.
 
Anyone with information regarding the source of this bogus Amber Alert text message is asked to call Oregon State Police Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.
 
More information about Oregon's Amber Alert Program is available on this website at:
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/AMBERALERT/index.shtml.