Fake posts about a missing elderly neighbour are circulating on Facebook

3 January 2023
What was claimed

A Facebook user is looking for their 87-year-old neighbour called Mr Andrew who went missing with his dog.

Our verdict

This is a fake appeal. The image accompanying the post was shared in 2016, and shows a then-90-year-old man in the United States.

A Facebook post claiming to be looking for a missing elderly neighbour is fake.

The post, which was shared to the “Bexleyheath Gossip” Facebook group, reads: “URGENT- MISSING!!! Our neighbor Mr Andrew aged 87 took a  stroll on friday  around 4:00 pm from #Bexleyheath

“He left with their dog Rex and he hasn’t returned. he has dementia and is hearing-impaired. There is a silver alert activated as well. Please help me bump this post (this is his recent picture with their dog )so he can be found safely and quickly as well as their pet: [sic]”

Nearly identical versions of this post have also been posted on several other local Facebook groups in the UK, with only the location changed.

The post also features an image of an elderly man and a small dog. However, this image dates back to 2016, and actually shows a then-90-year-old man living in the United States.

The photo was shared on social media by his granddaughter, and was featured in online outlets including the Metro, Mirror, and MailOnline after going viral.

We’ve written about similar hoax posts circulating on Facebook over recent weeks, involving elderly relatives, lost dogs and missing children.

We’ve seen a number of instances where posts will be edited after reaching a lot of people, so they instead advertise surveys or housing websites.

Image courtesy of Belinda Fewings

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