Home Archive Forward Message to Help Severely Burned Child Hoax

Forward Message to Help Severely Burned Child Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email, complete with photographs of a badly burned child, claims that 11 cents will be donated to the child’s family every time the message is sent to others


Status:
False

Example:
I never forward chain mails , but this one i cannot say keep it ot myself.

It is difficult to look at the picks…..its ok if you can’t…..but pls forward

I AM FORWARDING COS IT’S FOR A GOOD CAUSE.

if u scare easily or if your squeamish don’t see the pictures, just Forward to all the Persons in your address book and you would be helping out this little Girl To Get Better and start living a normal life!!!! You may not want to look at the pictures but please pass this Around To Help them. Our prayers will surely make a diff. For all what is worth. I do not know how they will get money, but At least our prayers will.

This photo attached is of a little child that has been severely burnt (literally from head to toe). His/her parents cannot afford to get the bandages and ointments necessary for the treatment so every time this email goes out they will be given 11 cents towards assisting these parents. I don’t know the full story because everything was Portuguese, but that doesn’t matter the only thing is this email must keep going around as much as possible. Thank you!

Note:
This message comes with 8 photographs of a severely burned child. Due to their particularly disturbing nature, these pictures have not been included.



Detailed Analysis:
This foolish hoax email claims that recipients can help the family of a severely burned child pay medical expenses simply by forwarding the message. The email arrives with several photographs showing a child with what appears to be horrific burn injuries. According to the message, 11 cents will be donated to the family every time the message is passed on.

The message has no information about the identity of the child depicted in the photographs. Nor does it explain how the child was burned or where the injuries occurred. The message claims that the “full story” was written in Portuguese. However, at this point, I have been unable to verify this claim or discover the true identity of the child.

Regardless of who or where the child is, forwarding this message will do nothing at all to help her or her family. Like many similar hoax messages, it makes the completely ridiculous claim that money will be donated every time the message is sent to others.

In fact, this example is even more absurd than others of its ilk. Others at least make an effort to convince recipients that the claim is legitimate by naming a company or organization that will donate the money. This one, however, would have us believe that every time the message is sent, 11 cents will be donated apparently out of thin air.

Even in the hugely improbable event that some unnamed entity had agreed to participate in such an exercise, there is simply no reliable way of tracking an individual email message that may well be forwarded many thousands of times. That is, it would be impossible to work out how much money the silent benefactor would be obligated to donate.

To reiterate, although it may possibly be true that the family of this unknown child is in need of financial assistance in order to cover medical bills, forwarding this email message will do absolutely nothing to help them. Any message that claims that donations are somehow dependent on how many times the message is sent to others is almost certainly a hoax.

Hoaxes that base their nonsensical claims on stories of sick or injured children are especially reprehensible. Please do not give continued life to such hoaxes by forwarding them to others.

A similar hoax message capitalizes on the true case of little Polish girl Ola Kuczma (Alexandra) who was badly burned in a house fire in 2005.


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