People claim a competition to send baby pictures is actually a scam to get photos of children
Rumors circulating right now claim the “Next Baby competition” is a scam set up by a “pedophile ring”. They claim even the police has issued a warning:
“police have advised ALL parents, please don’t enter your baby into the Next baby competition on Facebook or any other networking site. It has nothing to do with Next it has been set up by a pedophile ring!! please copy and paste! its not a joke or a random broadcast!!!!![…]”
There really used to be a competition called the “Next Baby Competition” by Next plc, a British multinational clothing retailer. In 2010 Next launched a prominent competition which offered a modelling contract to the child with the highest number of votes. That was a legitimate competition, but it gained a lot of negative press due to celebrities touting for votes from their fan bases and children being rejected because of birthmarks.
From 2010 up until today the warning that claimed the competition is fake and secretly run by a criminal ring to collect children’s photos is going viral. Whether the warning started due to a mistake or with malicious intent or because of an actual fake site that has supposedly been long shut down is unclear. But: These warning are NOT accurate. There is no warning by the Police.
The rumors are NOT TRUE. These warnings refer to an actual, legit competition from 2010. There has been no such competition by Next since then. There is no such competition run by pedophiles to collect baby photos. And the police have not warned to not enter it.
It actually doesn’t make much sense for anyone to go to such lengths to receive baby photos, for whatever reason. Anyone can just get thousands of photos of baby’s on Google. If you don’t want any pictures of you or your family to be used by anyone, the only safe way is to not post any pictures, anywhere. Once online you don’t really have much control anymore.
However the warnings above are false and should not be circulated.