Police say Dorchester Amber Alert is fake

The Boston Police Department reports that Internet messages about a 3-year-old boy from Dorchester being abducted are untrue.

There is no missing boy and no Amber Alert has been issued, the department said this afternoon.

Even after the police issued their statement, though, the message continued spreading across social networks, such as Twitter.

The message has begun to mutate: Some now claim he was abducted on Dorchester Street in Port Charlotte, FL. However, that is perhaps not that surprising, given that the Dorchester posts are just the latest variant of a hoax Amber Alert that has been ricocheting around the Internet since at least this past fall. The core details of the alleged alert - the age of the boy, the type of car and the license plate number remain the same; only the town or street where the alleged abduction happened changes.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children maintains a Web page for actual Amber Alerts.