Scams? With missing children?

You Bet! Its unfortunate but true. There are some scurrilous individuals around that play the “missing child” alert to scrape and steal email addresses for their spamming purposes.

Even child safety experts get side tracked by this.

The alert came via a business contact who emailed an Amber Alert to us. The alert mentioned a 13 year old girl missing in Ohio. It was sent via an email chain with innumerable addresses on it.

One of the respondents, a journalist colleague, shot back an email immediately saying it was a scam and how it works and why it is potentially being sent around.

How did he know? How can you understand what is a phishing scam and what is not? Here’s what he knew and how you can start to pick out the scams, too, and protect yourself.

First, stay calm. “Oh No! Another Child Missing! Let’s help!” is a natural reaction. That is my point, it’s a reaction. Take time to read further.

Two, true and valid Amber Alerts do not come as singular emails forwarded on from individual to individual.

Third, check to see if the email address is valid or a dead link.

As a rule, whenever you get questionable stuff like this type of email, go to Google. Simply enter it in the Google search box and add the word urbanlegend. Or, you can go to

With these two tools you can find out very quickly whether it is real or not. The second thing that people are not aware of is that often these emails are used to gather email addresses for email spamming. If you scroll down you can see everyone who every got this line... when you get those ads for breast enlargement etc, you know where it came from!

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Jackson is #1 International bestselling author and child safety expert. For more information see her websites at eChild Safety and Keeping Kids Safe