'Total scum': Disturbing twist in missing child Facebook post

·News Editor
·2-min read

People are being warned about a dodgy scam using the photo of a teen girl who went missing

Pictures of a girl supposedly named 'Ellie Morrad' have emerged on Facebook, with posts claiming she went missing in St Neots in Cambridgeshire, England, while another says she disappeared from Porthmadog, in northwest Wales. 

A post along with the picture claims the girl was bundled into a car and kidnapped, and people are urged to click on a link to help find her. 

A screenshot of a Facebook post showing the 'Ellie Morrad' scam.
The missing persons appeal claims to be a girl named Ellie Morrad. Source: Facebook

However in a disturbing twist, the girl in the photo is not somebody named Ellie Morrad, and it's actually a girl who went missing and was found late last year in the US state of Ohio. 

Her photo is now being used in an elaborate scam to mine personal details from those who fall for it.

Scam victim warns people to 'be careful'

Independent fact-checking organisation Full Fact is warning people not to click on the link as it's a scam that prompts people to "log in" using their Facebook username and password to view a video about the missing girl.

"What’s more, a few months ago, other reports claimed a girl called Ellie Morrad was missing but these carried a different photo of a different child from the United States," Full Fact said in its warning.

"Needless to say, none of these posts are real. They continue a running trend of fake missing children reports being posted on Facebook to scam people.

"There have been no genuine news reports of a missing girl called Ellie Morrad.

"We’ve seen similar posts that have been used to collect personal details from victims, in what’s called a phishing scam."

Local Facebook groups are also sharing screenshots of the missing girl poster, warning people not to click on the link. 

"They hacked me today, I have changed all passwords. Please be careful," one commented. 

"The advice I had was to only share missing persons reports from actual police forces," another suggested. 

Somebody else dubbed the people behind the scam "total scum". 

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