Scams & Deception

The Return of Sick Baby Hoaxes on Facebook

The Return of Sick Baby Hoaxes on Facebook

There has been a resurgence in sick baby hoaxes on Facebook in recent weeks. Today we’ll take a look at some of the more popular hoaxes currently in circulation.

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The scam is simple: A photo of a sick baby is found online and posted to a Facebook page. A fake description states that the child’s parents need money and that likes or shares will be converted to donations.

Hoax Example 1

The photo below has been circulated with the caption:

sick-baby

Please Dont Ignore ! His parents can’t afford surgery so facebook and cnn are paying half of the expenses
1 like – $1
1 comment – 10$
1 share – 100$

Facebook has never donated to sick children – or anyone else – based on likes or shares. Another point to be made about the photo above is that the child clearly already had surgery, despite the bogus caption.

This scam is not new. Consider our post from two years ago entitled, Facebook is NOT Donating $1 for Every Share, or the 2013 follow-up Sick Children Facebook Donation Scams in 2013

Hoax Example 2

The photo below was first shared online in the summer of 2013, but it has seen a resurgence in recent weeks. Note how similar the caption is the one above:

sick-baby2

This baby got in a terrible care accident And his parents dont have the money to support the surgery so facebook an CNN are willing the pay half the expenses , facebook is donating money for every like , share , comment…
1 like – 1 $
1 comment – 5$
1 share – 10 $

The child above was not in a car accident, but suffered from anencephaly, a fatal birth defect.

Why do they do it?

The purpose of these hoaxes is to gain likes and popularity for a Facebook page. The more likes, comments, and shares the page receives, the more popular it becomes on Facebook. Rather than posting engaging content, unscrupulous page admins attempt to take the easy route by posting photos of sick children and asking for likes or shares, with the implication that this will somehow help the ailing child. In most cases, the children pictured have long since left the hospital – or passed away in some cases.

If you see photos posted like the ones above with requests for likes, comments, or shares, you are best served to ignore it or to report the photo to Facebook as spam.

Bottom Line

Facebook does not donate based on likes or shares. Neither does CNN. Sharing or liking these photos will not help a sick child, but instead will benefit a shyster who has no interest in helping anyone.

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