Of course people like my friend, who has kids, want to help others in crisis. Unfortunately, fake posts like this one steal attention from real Amber Alerts, in which real children badly need help. They can also cause people to become skeptical of all similar messages, which means the real ones lose their effectiveness.
Before you re-post any urgent message on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, take a moment to find out whether it’s real, or a hoax. Don’t let your good heart and good intentions be used as fuel for scammers.
Amber Alerts can be authenticated at the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. You should also be able to google the license plate number listed in the message and see if you get hits for a fake.