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Tsunami - Little Boy Photo

(17 Posts)
gscrym Mon 10-Jan-05 11:22:54

I was sent a photo of a little boy who was alone after the Tsunami. It was trying to trace his family, or even to find out where he was from. I've received it at work and home. I also got an e-mail at work to say that he has been re-united with his grandma.
I thought I'd put this on incase anyone else had got this e-mail. Hopefully if this is a good way to contact people to find relatives of survivors then it won't be abused.

muminlondon Mon 10-Jan-05 11:37:30

It was abused - it was reported in the Observer yesterday as a spam email:

"It was a heart-wrenching photograph and it deceived thousands: the blonde toddler on a hospital bed, unclaimed and unknown. Anyone receiving the email, purporting to come from the Thai hospital where the boy was being cared for, was entreated to pass it on to as many people as possible: 'Please, please: send this to everyone in your address book,' one version of the email ran. 'It is our best chance of finding someone who recognises this boy and can help us find his family.'

People responded generously, forwarding the email to dozens of people, each of whom passed it on to dozens more, unaware that they had fallen victim to an internet virus scam which they were passing on to their friends.

The real story of Hannes Bergstrom, the 20-month-old toddler from Sweden, began and ended on 28 December, when reports that the child had been found by a roadside in Thailand were swiftly followed by the news he had been claimed by his father, Marko Karkaainen.

But the email which wormed its way into the country's intray last week will continue for much longer, anti-virus experts have warned, opening everyone who received it to viruses and an explosion in the number of spams they will receive.

'This is a dangerous spin on the chain-letter concept that appears innocuous but can insert a vicious virus into people's computers and enables the generator to harvest thousands of email addresses to sell to spamming companies,' said Stephen Masters, co-founder of, one of Britain's largest anti-spam groups.

'It is entirely characteristic of spamming companies that they see the disaster as a marketing opportunity. They prey on emotions and abuse the gullibility of those who want to do something good, making it much more likely that they follow whatever instructions the email contains and open attachments they would usually ignore.'"

JanH Mon 10-Jan-05 11:48:31

It was a virus????

And of course we all opened it because it came from a friend, and the photo was embedded (?), not an attachment.


muminlondon Mon 10-Jan-05 11:58:27

I know, I got it too, and believed it. I think it might be just an exercise in collecting as many addresses as possible for future spam/virus attacks.

gscrym Mon 10-Jan-05 12:02:55

That's awful.

Beetroot Mon 10-Jan-05 12:03:52

Message withdrawn

AuntyQuated Mon 10-Jan-05 12:05:13

i got it too but np photo and no viruus as yet...have now deleted it since reading this - thanks

rouge Mon 10-Jan-05 12:06:02

I got it too and did a quick google before forwarding - I always do this and 99 times out of 100 any email you're asked to forward turns out to be a hoax, spam or virus. It's a good habit to get into. If you find it's phoney you should always inform the sender and other recipients, to stop it spreading further. It's amazing how fast these things do spread. This one is particularly nasty.

Frieda Mon 10-Jan-05 12:09:33

OMG, I got it too! How low can some people stoop?

Anyway, I'm really pleased to hear he's now been reunited with his dad.

emmaTooMuchGrub Mon 10-Jan-05 12:14:30

I got it too, with a virus.


Luckily I alread knew that the boy had been re-united so didn't forward it on to anyone.

charlie01 Mon 10-Jan-05 12:27:43

I got it too, no virus though. There was a real original email so its possible that some of us got the real one. And it's not all bad, the email that was circulated and the internet links are what found his family in sweden so at least the original intentions were good!

JanH Mon 10-Jan-05 13:02:25

Well, not exactly, c01 - his aunt found his picture on a tsunami website within a couple of days, all the worldwide emailing started after that - definitely calculated.

But the good news is - he is fine now! I have been looking for an update for days and just found one so I am very pleased about that!

Frieda Mon 10-Jan-05 13:17:42

Thanks for that link, Janh. I have to say, I didn't quite know what to do when I got the email. Ithought it might be dodgy, but it was such a tragic picture. Poor little boy.

oxocube Mon 10-Jan-05 13:29:07

I received it too from a friend who had forwarded it to about 100 people . Luckily I didn't fwd it but am still not sure about the virus.

munnzieb Mon 10-Jan-05 13:48:53

I've had this as well, thought it had been sent from here, it's from a 'kerrie'

noddyholder Mon 10-Jan-05 13:50:11

mine is from kerrie aswell I assume if I haven't opened the attached file I'll be ok is that right?

munnzieb Mon 10-Jan-05 13:50:58

ooh same here, i've not opened the attatchment, thou I don't think hotmail allows me to if it has a bug in it. main thing is a lad is ok.

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