Fraudulent Amber Alerts
Amber Alerts are general notifications in the first few hours after a child has been abducted. The idea is that if you get the word out quickly, you have a better chance of recovering the child.
There’s an interesting social dynamic here, though. If you issue too many of these, the public starts ignoring them. This is doubly true if the alerts turn out to be false.
Out of 233 Amber Alerts issued last year, at least 46 were made for children who were lost, had run away or were the subjects of hoaxes and misunderstandings, according to the Scripps Howard study, which used records from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Police also violated federal and state guidelines by issuing dozens of vague alerts with little information upon which the public can act. The study found that 23 alerts were issued last year even though police didn’t know the name of the child who supposedly had been abducted. Twenty-five alerts were issued without complete details about the suspect or a description of the vehicle used in the abduction.
Think of it as a denial-of-service attack against the real world.