Home Hoaxes Baby With Facial Deformity Money for Forwarding Hoax

Baby With Facial Deformity Money for Forwarding Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Message that contains photographs of a young child with a severe facial deformity claims that money will be contributed to help pay for the child’s operation every time the email is forwarded.

Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are false. You certainly cannot help the child in the photographs just by forwarding the email. Money will NOT be donated to pay for an operation in exchange for sending on the email. The message is just one more in a long line of heartless hoaxes that claim that you can help a sick or injured child by forwarding an email.

Example

Subject: Fw: HELP NEEDED FOR A BABY – KEEP FORWARDING

Hi! All

PLEASE KEEP FORWARDING THIS E-MAIL, SO AS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHILD’S FUND-RAISING. JUST FORWARD TO AS MANY (ACROSS THE GLOBE) AND YOU’LL HAVE MADE YOUR CONTRIBUTION.

THE MINUTE YOU SEND THE EMAIL TO SOMEONE ELSE, THERE IS A CERTAIN CONTRIBUTION GOES TOWARDS HIS OPERATION FUNDS.

[Images removed]

 

Detailed Analysis

According to this widely circulated message, you can help the child depicted in the attached images simply by forwarding the email to others. The unidentified child in the photographs has a severe facial deformity. The message claims that each time you send the email to another person, money will be contributed to a fund that will help pay for an operation on the child.

Thus, the message urges recipients to send the email to as many people around the globe as possible to help in the fund-raising effort.

However, the claims in the message are utter nonsense. Forwarding on this email will do nothing whatsoever to help this child. In fact, the message is just one more in a long, sorry line of similar hoaxes that make the absurd claim that money will be donated to help a child in need when a particular email is forwarded. All such messages are false.

As such hoaxes go, this version is even more ridiculous than usual. Unlike other versions, this hoax does not even bother to name the organization that is supposedly donating the funds. Nor does it mention how much money will supposedly be donated per email forward. Even in the vastly unlikely event that this generous but secretive organization did agree to participate in such an absurd fund-raising scheme, there is simply no reliable or ethical method of tracking the random and convoluted journey of one particular email forward. Therefore, there would be no way of accurately calculating just how much money was due to be donated.

Since the hoax message gives no clue as to who the child in the photographs is or where he lives, I have so far been unable to ascertain the child’s current condition and situation. While some commentators have suggested that the images may have been digitally manipulated, I see no evidence to suggest that such a manipulation has occurred. Sadly, such facial deformities are not uncommon, especially in developing nations where poverty or lack of adequate medical resources may prevent early intervention and ongoing treatment. It may well be that this child does, or did require financial support to help him with his condition. However, sending on this heartless and nasty prank email will certainly do nothing to help him.

In reality, no organization is ever likely to base their contribution to a fundraising effort on how many times an email is forwarded. Any message that claims that money will be donated whenever an email is forwarded is sure to be a hoax. Pranksters create such hoaxes because they are an effective method of ensuring that their nonsense messages continue to circulate for months or even years on end. Many well-meaning people who receive one of these messages genuinely think that they are helping by sending them on, thereby ensuring that the hoaxes keep fruitlessly circulating.

If you receive one of these “money for forwarding” hoaxes, please help to stop its continued spread by NOT sending it on to others. Rest assured that sending on such an email will do nothing whatsoever to help a child in need.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer