Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Please Help Julie Chambers...

'Who's Julie Chambers? ' you're probably asking yourself.  There's a strong chance you don't know who Julie Chambers is but if you are on Facebook or Twitter there's a fair chance you've come across her daughter, Zoe. There's a chance that you may even have donated money on a Facebook page to help Zoe get a heart transplant. The only trouble is that Zoe, sadly, died 3 years ago. In her short life, she suffered 6 major heart attacks and eventually, after being moved to the top of the European transplant list, a new heart was found but a viral infection a year later proved too much for her and she died at the age of 2.

A Jamaican conman by the name of Garen Thoms has taken a photo of Zoe from the newspapers and set up a Facebook page asking people to donate money towards a heart transplant. Needless to say, the money goes straight to him.

Can you imagine how that must feel for Julie Chambers? Not only has she lost her daughter but now her image is being used to con people. Julie can do nothing about it because she, personally, has not been defrauded. 

And it's not the only one. Another one I received recently promised life saving heart surgery for a boy if enough people liked  the Facebook page. Don't people think? Would any medical professional withhold life saving surgery until a social networking page had been viewed enough times? The boy in that photo is a surviver of Chernobyl and is photographed after having had heart surgery paid for by an international charity. The photo has been used without the permission of his family.

So how can you help Julie Chambers?  She has asked Facebook to remove her daughter's photo from the site but they have done nothing (Respect, Mark Zuckerberg!) so she has linked up with Hoax Slayer to publicise her story and asking anyone who has put the photo on their own wall to please delete it. So if you have, or know anyone who has, please make sure you do.

You can find a link to Hoax Slayer's page here and Julie's story here

If you have put any other photos of sick children on your Wall please delete those too. The chances are they are being used without the permission of the family. And don't send on these hoaxes and scams to other people.

One of my pet hates is Facebook hoaxes and those righteously indignant 'Please forward this e-mail to everyone in the known universe to right some terrible social wrong' (which probably hasn't happened in the first place0. You know the sort, 'Hover over my name... blah, blah, blah'. People just pass them on without a second thought. I know I drive my friends mad by always challenging them and posting links to show that it's all a load of rubbish but maybe I'm just more cynical (or less gullible). If someone sends me a 'story' about how some good old British men have been sent to prison for painting a poppy on a mosque wall while some nasty old Muslim defaced a war memorial and only got a slapped wrist I want to know the story behind it.  That particular one turned out to be a story which originated from the English Defence League and the poor old British men turned out to be members of several hardcore racist groups and had a history of sustained attacks on Muslims and their property. Puts a whole different slant on it doesn't it. I'm glad to say it's passed on to at least one of my children.. The Boy's girlfriend sent him a video about a dolphin cull. The first thing he did was check it out online. It turns out the video footage has been largely faked.

One friend recently said 'but it doesn't hurt'. Well maybe not, but equally it lulls people into a false sense of security. They think if they follow the instructions their account is safe from hackers/aliens/Justin Bieber but often these hoaxes are started by scammers and will actually make your account less secure   It takes a few minutes to check them out on http://www.hoaxslayer.com, www.snopes.com, http://www.thatsnonsense.com, better still, join their Facebook pages then you'll get details of all the latest hoaxes and scams before they land on your Wall.  It may stop the sort of heartache and distress that has been caused to Julie Chambers.

11 comments:

Sarah said...

I haven't seen anything for Julie Chambers but in any case I wouldn't ever send money into the blue. I always check out stories like that and tell friends that send them on that it was a hoax and they should never send on stuff without checking.

I managed to change the behaviour of a friend who was a terror for sending rubbish so success!

Wylye Girl said...

Sarah, well done! Surely we are the normal ones aren't we? Why would anybody just send money based on a page on Facebook? Can I send you a few people to work on as I'm not having much success!

This Mid 30s Life said...

I'm with you. I cannot stand these scams, especially the email ones. I would argue that they do hurt, because people do reach a saturation point when it comes to being asked to donate money. So when something genuine comes along, by then people are over it.
Good post.

Perpetua said...

If you're a cynic, so am I, Wylye Girl. I'm not on FB and hadn't heard about Julie Chambers, but i always get back to anyone who sends one of these chain emails, giving them the links to Snopes and similar sites. The problem is that these are the same naive people who always forward things to all the people in their email address book without hiding the email addresses, so I also write back to them explaining how the BCC function works! It makes DH and me very cross....

Sarah said...

Haha! Do. I got my friend trained by looking up the hoax, copying the link and sending it back to her asking her to check first before sending on further hoaxes. It took several goes, I must say.

Yes, we are the normal ones, the ones who think before we click on the Forward button!! And if people are sending money to an unverified FB page, more fool them!!

mrwriteon said...

You don't get much lower than this guy, do you? Otherwise, I think that if people are conned by these scams they almost deserve to be by not checking more carefully.

About Last Weekend said...

Thanks for the heads up on this. I didn't realise this sort of thing was happening...how awful.

Wylye Girl said...

M30sL, you have a good point there

Perpetua, I'm starting to think my Facebook days are limited. It drives me mad half the time

Sarah, ain't that the truth!

Wylye Girl said...

mrwriteon, He's the lowest of the low for sure but I do agree with you about the second bit. In my other life I work for Trading Standards and we are constantly asked to comment in the press/local radio about scams, the lastest one being 'you are entitled to a share of Colonel Gaddhafi's fortune'. We refused because it's just too stupid to possibly be true and if anybody seriously believed they were, then us saying they weren't wouldn't make a blind bit of difference

ALW, it seems to be happening far too regularly these days

Carol said...

Its terrible that these people pray on the tragedy of others. I too wish people would do some research before sending me these things...although most of my friends now know not to pass them onto me! What I am going to do now is log into FB and post about this. Helps spread the word doesn it!

C x

Wylye Girl said...

Carol, yes, please spread the word.We'll never stop people sending this rubbish on but every little helps, as a well known supermarket chain says x

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