Monday, December 28, 2009

Reality of A Hoax Message/Mail Claiming "Message Forwarding Will Help Baby Girl Heart Transplant"

Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Summary

Message states that a seriously ill baby girl will receive a donation from the phone company to help pay for a heart transplant every time the message is forwarded.

This message/mail is a hoax. It is yet another variation in a long line of hoaxes that falsely claim money will be donated to help a sick child whenever the message is forwarded to others. All such claims are fallacious. Forwarding this message will NOT help any sick child and is just a waste of time.

The examples of the message are presented here:


Exp. # 1

A 6yr old precious baby girl needs a heart transplant, phone companies agree to donate 5 cents everytime this text is fwd (No lie) remember karma

Exp # 2

Fwd: A baby girl needs a heart transplant & the phone company is donating $2 every time this is fwd. (no lie) karma Will repay you


Beware! Its a Cyber World - - Explanation:

This message circulates mainly in the form of a mobile phone text message, but has also been posted on Twitter and other social websites and has apparently produced an email version as well. The text claims that whenever the message is forwarded to others, the phone company will donate money to help pay medical costs for a baby girl in need of a heart transplant. Some versions claim that 5 cents will be donated in exchange for every forward, while others inflate the amount supposedly donated to two dollars. Some versions claim the child in need of the transplant is 6 years old while others just identify her as a "baby girl".

However, the claims in these messages are false. No phone company, or any other organization for that matter, will be donating money just for forwarding a message. No baby will be supported by forwarding this message. In fact, this text message is just one more version in a long line of similar hoaxes that falsely claim that recipients can help raise donations for a sick child by the simple act of forwarding a message.

The most of the previous versions were circulated primarily via email rather than mobile text message. But, regardless of the technique use to spread such hoaxes, all make the same meaningless claim that a particular company or organization will donate money based on how many times the message is sent to others. Several such hoaxes target charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation or the Red Cross. Others target companies such as AOL.

This version is even vaguer than earlier versions. It does not even name a particular company as the entity supposedly doing the donating. It just identifies the donator as the "phone company", which of course would constantly change depending on which service provider the recipient was using. Nor does it name the child who is supposedly the recipient of the funds or even identify her location.

Any message that claims that money will be donated in exchange for forwarding an email or text message is virtually certain to be a hoax. It is simply absurd to suggest that any legitimate company or charity would sponsor or endorse such a ridiculous fund-raising scheme. And, even if they did, there would be no accurate, ethical or reliable method of tracking how many times the message was forwarded and therefore how much money should be ultimately donated.

If you receive such a message, via email, text message, or any other format, please do not forward it to others. Sending on such messages will not help any sick child in the slightest.

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