A Kirkcaldy mum was ‘disgusted’ to discover a photograph of her wee boy had been stolen from an online site and used to front up a bogus charity scam.
Lori Anderson (20), had been looking online when she came across web pages appealing for cash, which featured a Facebook photograph of her premature son, Mark.
According to the websites the photo is said to show a seriously ill baby boy called Kai who needs money for a life-saving operation.
However recent reports in the national press have shown that the fundraising appeal pages the photograph has been used on are fake.
The pages, which seem to originate from abroad, have been set up to say they are raising money for the page owner’s son claiming he has a rare condition, Long QT Syndrome and that he would need to have surgery.
Lori told the Press: “I was scrolling through a Facebook page when I saw the photograph of Mark.
“I discovered it on Monday and knew right away it was him.
“He was in his Tigger outfit, it was one of the first pictures of him.
“It’s just the one picture of him that I have found, but it’s on more than one page and there’s other babies on there as well.
“When I saw the photo I was horrified, who in their right mind would do something like that, that’s my baby.”
She said that Mark and his twin sister had been born 11 weeks early and that the picture of him which was being used on the sites and which claimed to be ‘Kai’ were taken when he was first able to wear clothes.
Lori continued: “I didn’t really know how to react, it was mixed emotions, but I’m disgusted that someone could do it.
“With the premature births it was emotional at the time, and this has brought everything right back.
“My Facebook is private so I don’t really know how they got the picture.”
Although the discovery has left Lori angry and upset she feels there’s an important message for all parents in what has happened.
“I just feel that people need to be aware of it,” she said.
“Even if you think your pictures are safe online they are not necessarily.
“There could be other babies whose photos are being used that their parents don’t know about.
“Parents should be aware that if they are putting pictures of their children online it’s not completely 100 per cent safe like you might think it is.”
Lori said she had reported the matter to the police.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said they could not comment specifically on this case, however they said advice on the use of social media sites would have been offered.
If a web page has originated in another country, he added, then an intelligence entry can be made, but it would be up to police in the other country to decide whether to pursue the matter.