• Sweden edition
 
Missing teen Facebook hoax dupes thousands
Cops step in after Facebook 'missing person' hoax

Missing teen Facebook hoax dupes thousands

Published: 01 Feb 2013 10:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2013 10:42 GMT+01:00

Police have launched an investigation after a faked Facebook message claiming a 17-year-old boy was missing in southern Sweden went viral, causing friends and family to fear for the boy's life.

"Has anyone seen our Simon?" reads the message posted to Facebook by a seemingly desperate father, Mats Berneblad, on Wednesday.

The message has since been shared on the popular social networking site almost 24,000 times. It details exactly when and where Simon went missing, the clothes he was wearing, together with a picture of the boy.

However, the whole message was a fake, revealed the Nyheter24 news website.

"It feels really terrible, you get scared," Simon confessed to Nyheter24.

"But above all I feel violated, truly violated."

Simon explained that he found out about the Facebook post when a friend contacted him and asked if he was actually gone.

"I was sitting at home, studying. When my friend said that dad had a few thousand shares on Facebook, I knew something was wrong," he said.

"My dad isn't even called Mats."

Despite Simon taking to Facebook himself to announce that he wasn't missing at all, the faked message was already spreading too fast, and soon worried Facebook users began making police reports. His mother even left work after seeing the post herself.

The original poster has since continued the thread on Facebook, at one point worrying that "foreigners" may have taken his son. Late on Thursday night, the Facebook user confirmed that Simon was dead.

"Thanks to everyone who helped us, you're in our hearts," the poster wrote.

While Simon says he doesn't have a clue who might be behind the Facebook account, he suspects it could be someone who has seen his personal YouTube channel.

Simon himself contacted the police, and officers are set to question the 17-year-old soon as part of their investigation into the apparent hoax.

"I hope they get to the bottom of who's behind all this," Simon told Nyheter24.

"The truth is always revealed in the end."

The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:45 February 1, 2013 by ginovane
Facebook is dangerous, people do not realise the dangers of what can happen after writing things on Facebook. Its too easy to write things about people. There should be more control. People are like sheep, when they see things on Facebook they all respond and take the bait, stupid. They have nothing better to do with their time these days. People are addicted to social networking sites.
Today's headlines
Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

730
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com