Why a Facebook post about an elderly lady looking for her Scottish niece keeps going viral

21st Jul 2020


An elderly lady in the Doncaster area is looking for her niece, called Daphne.


There is no reason to doubt the validity of this claim, although it has been reposted several times, and the original post was made on 28 March.

A post on Facebook claims that the user has been phoned several times by an elderly lady living in Doncaster, who has the wrong number and is trying to phone her niece, called Daphne, who lives in Scotland. This post was shared on 7 July 2020 and has been shared over 50,000 times.

The person who posted it is not the original person who was being contacted by the elderly lady, whose name is Ethel. Another Facebook post, which contains exactly the same text, was shared several months before, on 28 March. (That post has just over 40,000 shares.)

The post begins:

“Really really ridiculously long shot this, but I’m going to try anyway!! I keep getting phoned on my mobile by a lovely elderly lady called Ethel who lives in the Doncaster area (01302 code). She’s trying to get in touch with her niece who’s called Daphne and lives in Scotland.” 

According to a comment from the original poster, under this earlier March post, Ethel called the woman again, and was “ok, didn’t sound distressed, just a little confused.” 

The poster got the full name of the niece, looked her up on Facebook, and has sent her a message.

So while there’s no reason to doubt that the original story happened, it took place months ago, and the niece in question has already been identified.