I just received a Amber Alert Hoax via SMS message from two well meaning friends.
If you don’t know what a Amber Alert is you can read up on the history of this service in Wikipedia: Amber Alert.
A Amber Alert Hoax like the one I received can cause people to call the police and clog up their phone lines.
Here is the message that I received:
If you don’t know what a SMS messages is check out Wikipedia: SMS for more information.
The first thing that when through my mind was why is there not information telling where this happened. If this was Aylmer, ON area I think I would go out in my car and watch for this truck. Of course if it happened in Los Angles, CA it is not of a lot of meaning here.
So I called the first person that sent it to me. He was from the Aymer area but was just passing it on. My second thought was this may be a hoax. So instead of calling the police I checked it out on the Internet and found out that it as a Amber Alert Hoax.
You can see a example of what will be in a real SMS Amber Alert in the picture to the left.
In real SMS Amber Alert you will find the following information: “A description of the physical characteristics of the child and suspect, along with the make and model of the vehicle being used, is listed in the message, followed by a contact number for the investigating jurisdiction’s law enforcement department.”
If a Amber Alert SMS doesn’t have this information you should question where it is a hoax.
The first place I when was the main Amber Alert site which is a Government site. They have a link to all Active AMBER Alerts in US and Canada. This page will show you all the active Amber Alerts.
Code Amber is another good site that has a Code Amber News Service that shows all Amber Alert news. It shows issued and canceled Amber Alerts and press releases of software and hardware products for tracking your children. It’s a good read!
On this site there is a Amber Alert Updates page that has the following update for July 15, 2009.
If you want to see how fast these things travel just take a look at the first 100 entries of the license plate number 72B381 on Google. This thing is all over the place.
While I was writing this post I received two more SMS messages that were the same from friends.