Hoax posts about missing grandfather circulating on local Facebook groups

19 December 2022
What was claimed

A man called Christopher M. Adair has gone missing after leaving for a walk and not coming back.

Our verdict

Several versions of this post, using the same name and image, are circulating on local Facebook groups. The man in the image is not called Christopher Adair and passed away earlier this year.

A series of copycat Facebook posts claiming to be from someone searching for their missing grandfather are hoaxes.

The posts, which are being shared to local Facebook buy and sell groups, claim to be searching for a man named “Christopher M. Adair”.

One post reads: “FLOOD YOUR FEEDS! SILVER ALERT Has been issued for Christopher M. Adair. This is the most recent picture of my grandfather who went missing from Winsford [in Cheshire]. He left yesterday morning for walk and he never came back. He has dementia [sic]”.

Other versions of the posts share the same image of a man in a car with a black dog, with only the location mentioned in the text changed. Other examples of the same post claimed the man had gone missing in Chichester (West Sussex), Ditchingham (Norfolk) and Effingham (Surrey), as well as in Alabama in the US.

We’ve previously written about a similar hoax which used the same picture and claimed the man was the poster’s uncle who had gone missing along with his dog.

Full Fact used a reverse image search to identify the man as Vern English, who lived in Sonoma, California and sadly appears to have passed away earlier this year. The image appears on a fundraising page created in January 2021. 

We’ve written about a number of fake posts circulating on Facebook claiming to search for missing relatives or injured individuals, as part of our work fact checking online misinformation.

Image courtesy of Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

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