Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image
News
Information about Hoax Child Abduction Text Message and Photograph
07/16/2010
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Oregon State Police (OSP) received an inquiry Thursday afternoon requesting verification of a cell phone text message and photograph regarding a possible child abduction in Albany. A check with Albany Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children confirmed no known abduction involving the child in the photo and that this appears to be a hoax. There are no active Amber Alerts in Oregon at this time.
 
The photograph is of a smiling little red-haired girl, about four years old, sitting on a blue chair. The cell phone text message reads:
 
"This little girl was abducted this morning from Albany. The mother took her to daycare this morning and a man on the "safe list" took her from there and left. Please send this out to everyone on your phone. You would want to find her if she was yours."
 
Link to photograph (note - photo of the unidentified child is altered to block out her face):
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2010-07/1002/36823/Hoax.photo.JPG
 
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was contacted and advised that based on the physical characteristics of the little girl in the photo, the NCMEC database was searched to see if there were any matches in the system. Search results were negative on all counts.
 
If one receives a text message or email about a possible child abduction or an AMBER Alert in Oregon and wants to confirm it, the first thing they should do is watch their local television station or check online at www.oregonamberalert.com.  If traveling in a vehicle, look for highway signs and listen to the radio.
 
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. Maintaining a solid reputation by guarding against the spread of misinformation is vital to the program's continued success.
 
Oregon's AMBER Alert Plan sends alerts out through radio and television, highway advisory signs, email and to wireless subscribers who opt to receive the text messages on their wireless devices. More information about wireless AMBER Alerts, how it works and what text messages look like, and how to sign up free to receive AMBER Alerts by text is available at www.wirelessamberalerts.org.
 
This recent text message is the latest example of other misguided and even fake AMBER Alerts reported in Oregon during the last two years, and around the country. Many of these so-called AMBER Alerts that circulate by text message and e-mail involve cases that have already been resolved or were outright hoaxes.
 
More information about Oregon's AMBER Alert Program is available on the OSP website. More information about NCMEC is available at www.ncmec.org.