In our digital age, scams are everywhere on social media. Recently, online scammers have been bringing it closer to home with scams looking for help finding missing children. The scam artists are claiming that there are missing children in Oneonta. A recent post claimed that a missing child was the daughter of an Oneonta Police Department officer, and was quickly debunked.

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Of course, the posts were taken seriously, and people started to share it copiously across social media, ignoring warnings that it was a scam. When posts like these are reported, they are either taken down or altered to show that they are fakes. The latest example is below.


It's always a good idea to inspect these posts for a few quick indicators that they are from scammers. First, check the poster's profile. The profile that is responsible for the above post lists their location as Bridgewater, VA, and is otherwise empty.

Be wary of posts like these that use sensational or emotionally manipulative language. Scammers often use dramatic phrases and urge immediate sharing, such as "Urgent! Share this now!" without providing verifiable details.

Examine the comments section for additional clues. Many vigilant Facebook users flag potential scams, share links to fact-checking websites, or point out inconsistencies. Additionally, using reverse image search tools can help determine if the child's photo has been used in other contexts or flagged as a scam. This post's comments were instantly turned off by the poster, preventing others warning of a scam.

Finally, rely on trusted sources for updates. Websites like Snopes, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and local law enforcement agencies frequently debunk scams and provide accurate information. By following these steps, you can help prevent the spread of false information and ensure that genuine missing child alerts receive the attention they need.

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