A series of online rumours claim that a 14 year old boy was shot by his stepdad when protecting his younger sister from being raped by him. The rumours also claim that each time a reader sends the message on to their friends, a company will donate money towards his life saving surgery.
These rumours have been spreading online since around 2010, meaning if they had contained a grain of truth initially, they would now be hopelessly out-dated. Either way, they appear to have never been true – regarding both the claim that a company will donate money for each time you shared the message, as well as the claim that a boy was ever shot in such a manner.
The latest version to spread on Facebook (below) ambiguously claims that the company “messenger” will donate “0.45” each time you message this rumour to your friends.
A 14 year old got shot by his stepdad for saving his little baby sister from being raped by him this little hero is fighting for his life mother does not have enough money to pay for any operations but messenger has offered to pay 0.45 for each time you send this message to your friends and family
However earlier versions that propagated the Internet in 2010 and 2011 claimed it was AT&T that would donate the money –
Last friday 2-12-10 a 14 yr old boy was shot 6 times by his step dad. The boy was protecting his 2 yr old sister, in whom the step dad was atempting to rape. The young girl was not harmed, bc of that young mans courage & loyalty to his sister. The mom was at work during this time. The 14 yr old boy is now fighting for his life, and the doctors say he will not make it unless he has this life saving surgery in wich the boys mom cant afford. So At&t has agreed to donate $0.45 every time this msg is sent. So fwd & help save a life!
However in 2012, that had been changed again and now it was “All Facebook companies” allegedly donating money…
14 YEAR OLD BOY WAS SHOT 6 TIMES BY HIS STEPFATHER, THIS BOY WAS PROTECTING HIS LITTLE 2 YEAR OLD SISTER WHO WAS ABOUT TO BE RAPED BY THIS POOR EXCUSE OF A MAN. THE LITTLE GIRL DID NOT GET HURT THANKS TO HER BRAVE OLDER BROTHER. THEIR MOM WAS AT WORK WHEN ALL THIS HAPPENED. NOW THIS BRAVE YOUNG MAN IS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE, BUT DOCTRS SAY HE WILL NOT SURVIVE UNLESS HE GETS AN OPERATION WHICH IS VERY COSTFUL AND WHICH HIS MOM CANNOT PAY. ALL FACEBOOK COMPANIES HAVE AGREED TO DONATE 45 CENTS FOR EVERY TIME SOMEONE POSTS THIS TO THEIR WALL, SO PLEASE PASTE AND PASS THIS ON SO THAT TOGETHER WE CAN HELP SAVE THIS BOYS LIFE
Other versions identify the boy as Dominic James Daggner though we could find no reports suggesting a boy with this name was shot in this way, and other versions purport that the companies donating money is Verizon or the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
No matter what version you see or what company is apparently making the donations, all these variants have one thing in common; they’re just not true.
While it is almost impossible to determine definitively whether a boy was shot by his stepfather in such a way at some point in time, what we can say is that at no point would passing a message on to your social media or SMS contacts result in donations being made to a person’s medical costs or surgery.
This is long running social engineering trick employed by spammers to get their pranks to go viral, reminiscent of those old chain emails that claimed Bill Gates was “tracking” special emails and was willing to pay you to forward an email to your friends. Or those Facebook like-farming posts that claim sharing a Facebook post will result in donations to a sick child.
Passing on social media posts, emails or text messages will not raise money for anyone’s medical costs. And if you ever see the claim that it does, know that it is just a hoax.