This story was first published on February 27, 2010
According to a message that is currently circulating via Facebook and SMS, you can help the mother of a severely injured 14-year-old boy pay for lifesaving surgery simply by sending on the same message to others.
It claims that the brave boy was shot by his violent stepfather while attempting to protect his baby sister from being raped. According to the text, “messenger” has agreed to pay 45 cents to help the child each time the message is sent on.
An Example of the Message:
A 14 year old got shot by his stepdad for saving his little baby sister from being raped by him this little hero is fighting for his life mother does not have enough money to pay for any operations but messenger has offered to pay 0.45 for each time you send this message
The Message is Just a Silly Hoax
The claims in the message are nonsense. The incident described is not real and sharing the message will do nothing whatsoever to help any injured child.
In fact, any message that claims that a particular company or charity will donate money to help a sick or injured child based on how many times the message is forwarded or reposted is certain to be a hoax. No legitimate company is ever likely to participate in such a callous, ill conceived and haphazard fund raising scheme.
Just the Latest in a Long Series of ‘Boy Shot By Stepdad’ Hoaxes
This message is just one version of a long-running hoax that goes back to at least 2010.
Some versions claim that communications giant AT&T will donate the 45 cents.
Another version raises the amount supposedly donated to $12 per text message and adds another company, Verizon, as one of the donators. The second version identifies the boy as one “Dominic James Daggner”. During 2011, a social media version emerged that claimed that Facebook had agreed to donate 45 cents to the boy every time someone posts the message on their Facebook Wall.
In 2013, yet another version emerged that featured an image of a child with a severe head injury on a hospital bed. The message claimed that “all Facebook Companies” would donate 45 cents every time the message and image were posted. However, the picture of the injured child was stolen from other sources. Reports indicate that the image depicts a 7-year-old Lebanese child injured during an air raid in 2006. The picture was added to the message by cruel pranksters, apparently in an effort to give the hoax greater impact.
A more recent version features another child in a hospital bed. The image depicts a 12-year-old boy who was injured during rebel attacks in Eastern Congo back in 2012.
I could find no credible reports that describe a recent case like the one outlined in the message or mention any shooting incident involving a person named “Dominic James Daggner”. And, even if the event described in the message was based on a real incident, you can rest assured that sending on the message will not help raise a single cent for any of its victims. Heartless pranksters create such hoaxes because they know that many well-meaning recipients are likely to send them on in the mistaken belief that they are helping a sick or injured child. Once launched, such hoaxes tend to circulate for months or even years on end. For example, an email-based version claiming that a severely ill child named Amy Bruce will receive donations from the Make A Wish Foundation has now been pointlessly circulating for well over a decade.
While such hoaxes have more commonly circulated via email, an increasing number are now distributed via mobile phone text messages and via social networking websites such as Facebook. If you receive this or a similar “money for forwarding” message, please do not increase the spread of such nonsense by sending it to others. And please take a moment to inform the sender that the message is a hoax.
Other Versions of the Hoax Message:
14 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOT 6 TIMES BY HIS STEPFATHER,THIS BOY WAS PROTECTING HIS LITTLE 2 YEAR OLD SISTER WHO WAS ABOUT TO BE RAPED BY THIS POOR EXCUSE OF A MAN.THE LITTLE GIRL DID NOT GET HURT THANKS TO HER BRAVE OLDER BROTHER. THEIR MOM WAS AT WORK WHEN ALL THIS HAPPENED. NOW THIS BRAVE YOUNG MAN IS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE ,BUT DOCTRS SAY HE WILL NOT SURVIVE UNLESS HE GETS AN OPERATION WHICH IS VERY COSTFUL AND WHICH HIS MOM CANNOT PAY. ALL FACEBOOK COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO DONATE 45 CENTS FOR EVERY TIME SOMEONE POSTS THIS TO THEIR WALL,SO PLEASE PASTE AND PASS THIS ON SO THAT TOGETHER WE CAN HELP SAVE THIS BOYS LIFE
Last friday a 14 yr old boy was shot 6 times by his step dad. The boy was protecting his 2 yr old sister, in whom the step dad was atempting to rape. The young girl was not harmed, bc of that young mans courage & loyalty to his sister. The mom was at work during this time. The 14 yr old boy is now fighting for his life, and the doctors say he will not make it unless he has this life saving surgery in wich the boys mom cant afford. So At&t has agreed to donate $0.45 every time this msg is sent. So fwd & help save a life!
Last friday 2/12/10 a 14 y/o boy was shot 6 times by his step dad. the boy was protecting his 2 y/o sister, whom the step dad was attemping to rape. The young girl was not harmed, bc of that young mans courage & loyalty to his sister. The Mother was at work when this took place the 14 yr old boy Dominic James Daggner is now fighting for his life, and the doctor says he will not make unless he has life saving surgery in which the mother cant not afford.
So, Verizon and AT&T have agree to donate $12.00 everytime this text is sent.