The email and photograph included below began circulating soon after the Asian tsunami disaster of Boxing Day, 2004.
The information in the message was valid at that time. However, there is no longer any need to forward the message. Just days after his photograph began circulating, the little boy was identified as then 18-month-old Hannes Bergstroem of Sweden.
Once identified, he was quickly reunited with family members.
According to a USA Today article, the boy, Hannes Bergstroem, was reunited with his father after his uncle saw a photograph of him on the Internet.
“His uncle, who spotted the photo, claimed the boy Tuesday and set up the reunion with the father, Marko Karkkainen, at a hospital on the southern Thai island of Phuket where both father and son were receiving treatment.”
It is wonderful that email and the Internet helped to bring this little boy back to his family. However, emails such as this often continue to circulate long after there is any valid reason for them to do so. This can clutter inboxes with needless information and weaken the power of future Internet-based missing person campaigns.
Thus, if you receive this email, please do not forward it to others and let the sender know that the child’s family has now been found.
Example:(Submitted, January, 2005)
Please take a look at the attached picture of this victim (a 2 years old boy) from Tsunami. If you do not know him, please forward his pictures to your friends or organization in your country for further publication.
This boy is about 2 years old. Found and taken from Khao Lak Resort Area,the southern part of Thailand. His parents are missing. His nationality cannot be identified.
Please contact [CONTACT DETAILS REMOVED]
I thank you all for extending kindness to this boy.
With kind regards,
[NAME REMOVED] Thai Airways International PCL”
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!