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Oct-05-2009 16:18printcomments

Hoax Amber Alert Text Messages and Email Showing Up in Oregon

This recent text message is another example of other misguided and even fake AMBER Alerts reported around the country.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregon State Police is currently receiving inquiries about the validity of an Amber Alert reported to involve a 3-year old boy taken by a male in a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse with Oregon license 98B351.

The inquiries came from the Portland-area following an email received by a television news department, and from the Douglas County area after some people received a phone text message.

There are no active Amber Alerts in Oregon at this time.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was also checked and it was confirmed this is not an active Amber Alert. The messages appear to be a hoax. A check with current news reports indicates similar hoax messages in California. The Oregon license plate number listed does not exist.

Oregon State Police Lieutenant Molly Cotter, Oregon Amber Alert Coordinator, is very concerned about these message alerts and warns the public to only respond to AMBER Alerts from authorized sources.

"As with the past hoax messages, please remember that receiving AMBER Alerts from an official source provides initial notification, updates, and a cancellation. AMBER Alerts from unknown sources could lead to a delayed response from the public and jeopardizes the integrity of the entire AMBER Alert plan. Forwarding text messages can circulate indefinitely without a cancellation, so don't forward this message if you receive something similar without knowing it is a confirmed AMBER Alert" said Cotter.

Lieutenant Cotter stressed that if one receives a text message or email about an AMBER Alert and wants to confirm it the first thing they should do is watch their local television station or check online at If in a vehicle, Cotter said to look for highway signs and listen to the radio.

Oregon's AMBER Alert Plan sends alerts out through radio and television, highway advisory signs, email and to wireless subscribers who opt to receive the text messages on their wireless devices. More information about wireless AMBER Alerts, how it works and what text messages look like, and how to sign up free to receive AMBER Alerts by text is available at

This recent text message is another example of other misguided and even fake AMBER Alerts reported around the country. Many of these so-called AMBER Alerts that circulate by text message and e-mail involve cases that have already been resolved or were outright hoaxes.

The Amber Alert Plan is a critical missing child response program that utilizes resources of law enforcement and media to notify the public when children are kidnapped. Speedy distribution of information is key when trying to locate abducted children, but false information can impact the program's effectiveness and the public's confidence. Maintaining a solid reputation by guarding against the spread of misinformation is vital to our continued success.

More information about Oregon's AMBER Alert Program is available on the OSP website:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Echristo November 6, 2009 6:23 pm (Pacific time)

I just received a Amber alert va my phone saying: 3 yr old boy taken by a man driving a '06 mits Eclipse plate #98b351. Keep it going! you would if it were send me an e-mail if you need to know the source.

Lisa October 27, 2009 3:07 pm (Pacific time)

I just received a text message regarding and amber alert for a 3 year old girl taken by a man in a new silver truck plate # 72B381. How horrible of people to abuse this system and mock those people who have had their children taken.....

Hope October 13, 2009 4:52 pm (Pacific time)

this has now officially made it to the Big Island of Hawaii. I just got a text message today with the exact same information only saying that it happened on the "Hilo side".

Editor: Thanks for sharing that!

nicki October 6, 2009 6:34 pm (Pacific time)

we got it here in wisconsin too. because i didn't hear anything on the radio or tv i thought it was weird so i googled the plate #

kt October 6, 2009 8:50 am (Pacific time)

we got this fake amber alert all the way in new jersey its great people actually care but everyone should just sign up for the real amber alert wireless text.

rc136561 October 5, 2009 5:15 pm (Pacific time)

Everyone should know you put a lot of lives in jeopardy when calling in a fake amber alert. For starters someone might need EMS,Fire or Police only ro find them tied up on a hoax. I spent 29 years in EMS and this action is a major misuse and abuse of the 911 system.

Editor: No doubt, it is too important of a system for people to treat this way.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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