State police warn that false Amber Alert is circulating in text messages

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(Host) Vermont State Police have put out the word that a false Amber Alert has been circulating via text messages on cell phones.

State police say there are no current alerts for missing children, so the text messages should be ignored.

Lieutenant Mark Lauer says state police would only issue an alert for a missing child through the media and various state agencies.

People can sign up to receive text messages when an alert is issued. But Lauer says state police always asks people not to forward the messages.

He says that’s because authorities want to make it clear when there’s an authentic alert.

(Lauer) “It’s a situation where it’s almost like crying wolf. If too many non-valid reports or requests are made, the people become desensitized to the Amber Alerts and will no longer pay attention to them.”

(Host) Lauer says there have been similar problems around the country with false alerts.

He says he doesn’t think are trying to make problems.

(Lauer) “They’re trying to do the right thing. They’re trying to help the victims out, as well as law enforcement. And so I think people are just trying to do the right thing. I don’t think there’s some malicious intent, by anybody.”

(Host) But Lauer says people should confirm that Amber Alerts are valid by visiting the state police Web site

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