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Fake social media post about missing kids in Arvin raise concern

The post alleged an injured-missing child had been found at Arvin PD
Posted at 6:12 PM, May 14, 2024

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — Arvin PD addressed a false Facebook post alleging a missing child found at the station. The post included pictures of a 2-year-old boy with scars on his face as if he'd been involved in an accident.

  • Video shows the importance of corroborating information prior to sharing or posting it on social media.
  • According to Alex Ghazalpour, scammers use heartfelt pictures—in this case of a child—to persuade users to share their posts.
  • If ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a social media post, Ghazalpour encourages the community to contact the department at (661)854-5583 for verification.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

A false Facebook post claiming a missing child had been found at Arvin PD created panic among some residents. I spoke to Arvin Chief of Police Alex Ghazalpour who told me how spreading misinformation impacts the community and how to avoid scammers online.

As social media users navigate the web, coming across fake news and scammers can be a common issue.

This was the case with certain users on an Arvin community Facebook page, that came across a post that included pictures of a 2-year-old boy with scars on his face as if he'd been involved in an accident.

In the description, the user encouraged other users to share the post to help find the boy's home.

In a statement, Ghazalpour declared the post to be false and warned users about online scammers.

"As they're clicking on it, and re-posting it and they're not understanding what's happening behind the scenes," said Ghazalpour.

Arvin Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Arvin Chief of Police Alex Ghazalpour about the fake social media posts
Arvin Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Arvin Chief of Police Alex Ghazalpour about the fake social media posts

And this isn't the first time the department has dealt with an issue like this. In March, Ghazalpour says a similar post circulated on Facebook with a different child.

According to Ghazalpour, scammers use heartfelt pictures—in this case of a child—to persuade users to share their posts.

Upon a simple click, the next thing you know, they're looking at all your social media accounts, they're looking at your passwords—they have accessibility to your passwords, and so on.

Accessibility that allows scammers to hack users' social media accounts and in some cases, bank accounts.

To avoid being in this situation, Ghazalpour recommends users check the source's credibility before sharing anything on social media and stay on the lookout for scammers.

"Fake social media accounts that don't have a bio to it or they were just uploaded—just on—those are the areas of concern," stated Ghazalpour.

If ever in doubt about the legitimacy of a social media post, Ghazalpour encourages the community to contact the department at (661)854-5583 for verification.


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