Viral posts about missing girl are false, again

21 January 2021
What was claimed

A 14 year-old girl is missing after being pulled into a car.

Our verdict

This is false. There are no reports of this happening. The picture is of a 15 year-old girl who briefly went missing in different circumstances in 2019.

A number of Facebook posts have appeared claiming that a 14-year-old girl is missing after being pulled into a car, and has not been seen for 48 hours. These posts are not true, and the websites they link to may be harmful. 

Despite using the same headline on each of these posts (“14-year-old girl dragged into car. She hasn’t been seen in nearly 48 hours… Parents begs for help”), each claims to be based in a different location. We have seen examples of this girl missing from Pontefract, Skelton, Skegness, Grantham, Woodley, Folkestone, Lowestoft, Sevenoaks, Stockport, Windsor and Newmarket. 

All the posts use the same image. This is a picture of a 15 year-old girl who was reported missing from Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire in August 2019, along with a friend. Both girls were found safe and well the next day, and neither had been dragged into a car. 

The various posts link to different websites, with URLs like ‘instanthelp24.icu’ and ‘whereareyou90.club’. This is a clue that the claims are not true. Google flags some of the links these posts lead to as potential phishing sites, meaning they may link to harmful websites. There have also been no recent news stories about a missing 14 year-old girl who was dragged into a car.

Organisations like Missing People, and Child Rescue Alert, as well as police forces are trustworthy sources of information on missing persons cases, so always double check where the information is coming from before you click on or share a post like this.

We have written about scams like this many times before.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because there are no reports of this happening anywhere and the picture is of a different girl.

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