Fact Check: Acting On 'Bump This Post' Will NOT Help Find Missing Man With Dementia -- It's Ruse To Trick People To Share It

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Acting On 'Bump This Post' Will NOT Help Find Missing Man With Dementia -- It's Ruse To Trick People To Share It Bait & Switch

Did "Mr. Luke Jones," purportedly a man with dementia, drive away from his home and fail to return, triggering the activation of a silver alert? No, that's not true: No elderly man named Luke Jones is missing at the time of writing. This story is a part of a scam formula that begins with a ruse to entice people to share a post. The photo appearing in this post shows a man, Gary Alder, from Greater Manchester, England, who actually did disappear and was later found dead.

The post (archived here) was published to the public Facebook group Knoxville Buy/Sell/Trade on December 19, 2023, by a Facebook Page Zyna Dawson with the caption:

Help!!! MISSING!! #Knoxville Our neighbor Mr. Luke Jones aged 72 drove out earlier today and he still hasn't returned. He doesn't know where he's going, he has dementia. There is a silver alert activated on him. Please help bump this post so we can get him home safely!!🙏🏻

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Dec 21 14:31:32 2023 UTC)

In fine print at the bottom of the post is a notification that Zyna Dawson turned off commenting for this post. This is a tactic to prevent people who know this is a scam from being able to warn others who might share the post.

A reverse image search with Google Lens (archived here) reveals that the man in the photo is not named Luke Jones but Gary Alder, a 70-year-old man from Manchester, England, who the Manchester Evening News reported was last seen on December 5, 2023. Alder was found dead on December 11, 2023, but the Greater Manchester police had not released details of his death, The Daily Record reported.

The Lead Stories composite image below (click to open larger in a new tab) shows an assortment of posts uncovered by using small segments of the caption in a Facebook search. The results share some details and differ in others. Some of these posts date back months, but the posts using the photo of Gary Alder have all been made in December 2023, in the time the real man went missing. Some of these posts refer to a Donald S. Million rather than a Luke or Brian Jones. Some posts use photos of other men. Most of the posts have included the names of various towns associated with the Facebook groups where the posts are planted: Ladson, Brooklyn, Chesterfield, Canonsburg, Bancroft, Upshur County, Fort Campbell, and Wabash. Some posts include details about the missing man's dog, said to be with him, named Rusty, Sammie or Rexy. Clearly none of these pleas for help finding a missing man with dementia is genuine.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image made with Facebook screenshots taken on Thu Dec 21 16:31:48 2023 UTC)

In the center of the composite image above is a post with interior and exterior photos of a house, as if a real estate advertisement. This post is an example of what happens to posts like the one looking for "Luke Jones." Through an editing error, this bungled August 10, 2023, post in the Upper/Lower Kittitas County Auction, Buy, Sell,Trade, Free, & ISO group, reveals some of the mechanism of what this scam network is doing. The caption of the post does not match the real estate images.

Typically the initial post requests that people in the local group share the post to help in some way, to find a missing person or identify the owner of a found dog. After the post has been shared, the post is edited to become something else -- like a too-good-to-be-true rent-to-own ad that leads people to a website that harvests their personal information. The scammers are targeting people's vulnerabilities through their desire to be helpful, the use of familiar place names and posts that their friends seem to have shared.


View Edit History (pictured above) is a feature accessed with the drop-down menu from the three dots in the upper right corner of the post. The edit history shows this scammer's error when editing this August 10 post. The August 15 edit intended to change both the caption and photos to real estate, as is typical for this scam, but the copy/paste substituted a caption about a missing person for the original caption about an injured dog:

Hello. If anyone is looking for this sweet boy, found him lying on the side road in #Lower Kittitas He was hit by a car in a hit and run incident. I took him to the vet he is not chipped I know someone is looking for him. He definitely misses his family, I'll continue to take care of him in the meantime. Please bump this post to help me find his owner🙏🏻

The caption now says:

Our Dad, Jackson Simmons aged 62 drove out last night with his dog Rexy and he still hasn't returned. He doesn't know where he's going, he has Dementia. There is a silver alert activated on him. Please help bump this post so we can locate and get him home safely.🙏🏻

The Facebook page Zyna Dawson is designed to look like a personal profile but since its creation on August 17, 2023, the page has only posted content related to known scams, such as grocery giveaways, Rent-to-Own scams and free Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies as a ruse to get people to visit data collecting websites or to join a private Facebook group

Lead Stories has debunked many of these bait and switch scam posts that use a wide variety of stories, from dangerous fugitives or catalytic converter thieves, to missing kids and rattlesnakes to manipulate people to share a post that will later be edited.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion