Attempted child abduction in LEGOLAND warning - Internet/Facebook Rumour

16 Jan 2014 - Article No: 1808. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Rumours are spreading that an attempted child abduction occurred as Legoland, where a 6 year old was left unsupervised for a few moments, only to be taken, drugged, had his head shaved botak and had on different clothes before he was located.

However the rumours are false, and are just a variant of a popular "kidnapping warning" that has been spreading throughout the Internet for a number of years.

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To everyone who have a child, please read!!! This incident happened last sunday, at legoland. My friends friend family went to legoland for a holiday last sunday. While queueing up for food, she took her eyes off her 6 year old son for a moment. In just a few seconds, she realise her son was missing. Quickly she report to the legoland staff and they close down the exits in the area. The whole legoland staff was alerted and a wide search was conducted for a few hours. Finally they found her son. What was horrifying is that her son has been shaved botak, changed his clothes and shoes, and was placed in a stroller being pushed out of the place. The kid was found to be in a drowsy state, believed to be given something to smell to knock him out. Please share to warn all your relatives to be careful when bringing your family out on a holiday!!!! Please spread
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This particular version that includes the Legoland theme park has been spreading since 2013. However there have been no reports that such an incident occurred in any of the several Legoland parks across the globe, and the warning fails to mention which park this supposed incident took place in. [Read here for 3 things that make a good Facebook warning.]

However it is the content of the rumour itself which should be taken with a pinch of salt, since the assertion that a child was kidnapped and had their clothes swapped and head [partially] shaved is actually a long running template used by hoaxers that has been on the Internet for many years, attributing many different locations across the world as the alleged location where the abduction takes place.

Possibly evolving from a fictional cautionary tale, many locations including supermarkets like Tesco and Asda, as well as shopping malls like Drake Circus in Plymouth, UK have all appeared in these fake kidnapping warnings. All such warnings claim a child was left unattended only briefly before being taken and having their clothes swapped and head shaved.

Many variants of the warning claim that the child was later found in a nearby toilet cubicle, and the majority assert the perpetrator was never apprehended.

It is vital to be careful when in public places when you are supervising children, and leaving them unsupervised is never a good idea. But neither is spreading false and alarmist misinformation across the Internet. This leads to needless panic and ultimately detracts from a serious issue.

The rumours are false and are just the latest variant in the long running hoax about child abductions.

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