VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FAKE advisory on rape-kidnap-steal modus not from PNP

A fake advisory first posted nine years ago purportedly issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) was reshared by Facebook (FB) netizens this month, warning against bringing lost children to a specific address, as this was a new modus to steal from, then rape and kidnap females.

An FB netizen originally posted the made-up PNP advisory on March 15, 2013. The message read:

“If u find any child crying on road showing his/her address n asking u to take him/her to that address, take that child to police station n plz don’t take it to that address. IT IS A NEW WAY OF GANGS TO STEAL, RAPE and KIDNAP GIRLS (sic).”

It was addressed to any female “who goes to college or office alone.”

Police Lieutenant Michelle Sabino, PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) spokesperson, told VERA Files Fact Check via Viber this was not from the PNP official page.

Other than their website, official channels of the PNP are on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

There is no modus operandi using addresses of children, who are lost, as a bait for crime. “It’s definitely fake news. If there is one such, the PNP will issue press releases to warn the public,” Sabino added.

Should anyone encounter lost kids, the PNP ACG spokesperson underscored the “safest thing to do is to let the police contact or deliver the lost child to his/her parents.”

Contrary to the fake graphic claim, the PNP did not share any post from FB page Knowledge is Power (General Information). It only reposts links to updates from, the official website of the national police

A cursory search shows that similar hoax messages appeared on FB in 2012, posted by Americans, and have been online as early as 2005. 

Such warnings are false. Fact checking organization Snopes said they have been unable to confirm if criminals employ such tactics.  

The hoax that resurfaced on Aug. 22 has garnered 36,000 reactions and 185,000 shares. It reappeared on social media as news organizations reported increased incidents of rape-slay and missing women.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)