So, what to do? Let's say you get this e-mail, which I was unfortunate enough to receive this weekend:
I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. Maybe if everyone passes this on, someone will see this child.
That is how the girl from
We have a Deli manager (Acme Markets) from
My 13 year old girl, Ashley Flores, is missing. She has been missing now for two weeks. It is still not too late. Please help us. If anyone any where knows anything, please contact me at: HelpfindAshleyFlores@yahoo.com I am including a picture of her.
All prayers are appreciated!! It only takes 2 seconds to forward this. If it was your child, you would want all the help you could get."
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. Go to snopes.com, and investigate the authenticity of this e-mail. You will find information for most of these crappy forwards, I guarantee. Then, click REPLY ALL, and say:
I went to snopes.com and investigated this e-mail a little forward. Unfortunately, it’s not worth forwarding anymore. See below for more information.
Thanks for stopping this now,
The following is from Snopes.com's profile on this particular email:
"Origins: Most missing child alerts circulated via e-mail fall into one of two categories: genuine reports of missing children that continue to be forwarded long after the child has been found, or hoaxes imploring readers to look for children who aren't missing or don't exist. The above-quoted message bears all the hallmarks of the latter category.
The text of the e-mail (reproduced as we first received it in May 2006) does not include some of the most basic information one would expect to find in a genuine missing child plea: where the young girl (Ashley Flores) went missing, when she went missing, when and where she was last seen, a physical description of her, contact information for her parents, contact information for the local police authorities handling the case, etc. All we're provided with is the ambiguous statement that a "Deli manager from Philadelphia, Pa" has a 13-year-old daughter who has been missing "for two weeks," and even that information seems to have been tacked on to the message by someone other than its originator. It even includes phrases taken word-for-word from previous missing child hoax e-mails, such as Christopher John Mineo and Kelsey Brooke Jones.
Meanwhile, the one piece of identifying information provided in the message, a yahoo.com e-mail address, produces a "no such user" error when mail is sent to it, and a variety of searches through news accounts and law enforcement and missing child web sites, including the site of the Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), fails to turn up any mention of a missing girl named "Ashley Flores."
In the event, it turned out that although the pictured Ashley Flores may be a real girl, her "missing" status was one concocted as a kids' prank. In this case it was a particularly bad and widespread prank, one that left thousands and thousands of concerned citizens attempting to verify the status of a missing girl who wasn't really missing. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Everyone is concerned about this girl," said Athena Ware, spokesperson for the
for Missing and Exploited Children. "We've gotten quite a few of those e-mails here. But it's not an active case in our system." National Center
It's not an active case because it isn't true.
It's a hoax, pure balderdash, sheer hornswoggle, a regular mountain of malarkey.