Facebook won't donate money for boy's life-saving surgery after he saved his sister from rapist. Because it's a hoax

Filed Under: Facebook, Social networks

Hoaxes and chain letters never die it seems. There's always someone spreading them unwittingly on Facebook to their family and friends, in the mistaken belief that it's better to share a message "just in case it's true"

Take this example, forwarded to us by Naked Security reader Phil, which claims that Facebook will donate 45 cents per share for a shot boy's surgery.

Facebook hoax

A 14 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOT 6 TIMES BY HIS STEPFATHER. THIS BOY WAS PROTECTING HIS LITTLE 6 YEAR OLD SISTER WHO WAS ABOUT TO BE RAPED BY THIS POOR... EXCUSE OF A MAN. THE LITTLE GIRL DID GET HURT, THANKS TO HER BRAVE OLDER BROTHER. THEIR MOM WAS AT WORK WHEN THIS HAPPENED. NOW THIS BRAVE YOUNG LITTLE BOY IS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE,BUT DOCTORS SAY HE WILL NOT SURVIVE UNLESS HE GETS AN OPERATION WHICH IS COSTLY AND HIS MOM CANNOT PAY. FACEBOOK COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO DONATE 45 CENTS FOR EVERY TIME SOMEONE SHARE THIS MESSAGE SO, PLEASE CLICK SHARE SO THAT TOGETHER WE CAN HELP SAVE THIS BOUS LIFE......NSFTBC! If you had a heart you'd do it, It will only take a minute of your time!

Does it ring any bells with you? It should do if you're a long-term reader of Naked Security as we warned of a similar bogus chain letter spreading in late 2011, telling a near-identical story.

There are some differences this time. For instance, rather than a picture of a boy's bloodied torso being shared across the social network, the message is being spread via a mobile phone snapshot.

Presumably the message is being spread in this way in the hope that it will be able to waltz past Facebook's text filtering technologies.

Of course, you shouldn't believe the claim that Facebook is donating any money.

If Facebook were to ever donate money for a young boy's surgery, think for just a moment - would they really be so crass as to base it upon the number of times a message was shared?

Further clues that should tell you that the story is bogus, is that there is no information to support the story of a young boy being attacked or the pay-per-share scheme. There's no link to an official Facebook blog entry, no link to a news story on a legitimate news outlet.

If a friend of yours shares a message with you like this on Facebook, remind them about the importance of not spreading chain letters and suggest that they inform all of their friends that they were mistaken.

Don't forget you should join the Naked Security from Sophos Facebook page, where we not only debunk hoaxes and chain letters, but we also keep you up-to-date on the latest security and privacy issues threatening Facebook users.

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12 Responses to Facebook won't donate money for boy's life-saving surgery after he saved his sister from rapist. Because it's a hoax

  1. Stefan · 597 days ago

    People should learn how internet advertising and earning money from ads work before believing such nonsense.Besides,the message itself has errors...

    • William Tell · 596 days ago

      Wait, I thought that everything on the interwebs had to be true?

  2. -kg- · 596 days ago

    You've neglected to mention another important factor. If someone--ESPECIALLY a child--needs lifesaving surgery after such an incident, he or she will get that surgery REGARDLESS of ability to pay!

    In addition, any charges for the medical procedure would be incurred by the stepfather, not the mother.

  3. D Guidry · 596 days ago

    One of my friends insisted that his entry was true because he got it from his sister. His sister then put a message insisting that I was the one in the wrong; besides what's wrong with being safe "just in case". When I see one of those I just tag it as being spam. Better than arguing with someone that won't listen.

    • Chantal · 596 days ago

      Oh man... I got it from my sister so it's true. Well you're right... there's no argueing with that. But it doesn't do wonders for the faith in humanity's intellect. :-D

  4. I always google it to see if there's real time any news relating to the articles - makes more sense but, I dont share these anyway, lord you'd be off your head if you believed half the crap that goes on fb ....................... supposedly !!

  5. M Garthwaite · 596 days ago

    problem is, my friends are getting fed-up with me telling them they've fallen for yet another hoax
    why are people so gullible - do they never think to themselves maybe this isn't true

  6. Joey · 595 days ago

    It baffles me how people who repost and like these things can actually believe them! It's madness! The only people who get money per like, is Mark Zuckerburg!

  7. Gues · 595 days ago

    A message that's written in screaming BLOCK CAPITALS just has to be true.

  8. Deborah · 594 days ago

    It's really annoying how few people check before spreading this kind of nonsense, and it amazes me how many people believe something like this so readily. I have lost count how many times my elder relatives back in Asia sent me all sorts of stories that would give fairy-tale authors a run for their money, and each of them would add some of their comments every time they re-sent the stories, as a kind word of advice. When I gently told them that those were hoax, they were not happy at all. But the good thing is that they don't send me this kind of things any more.

  9. Matt · 593 days ago

    "If Facebook were to ever donate money for a young boy's surgery, think for just a moment - would they really be so crass as to base it upon the number of times a message was shared?"

    Would FB be so crass? Uh - is this *meant* to be an oxymoron?

  10. your are right. facebook dont donate money.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.