Mum's fury as son's chickenpox pictures stolen by Facebook scammers to get 'likes'

Jasper Allen in hospital, receiving treatment for his severe case of chickenpox. Photo / Caters
Jasper Allen in hospital, receiving treatment for his severe case of chickenpox. Photo / Caters

A furious mum claims sick Facebook scammers are using pictures of her son's chickenpox as bait for millions of likes and shares - by pretending he has cancer.

Three-year-old Jasper Allen hit the headlines last summer when he was hospitalised for five days with the worst chicken pox doctors had ever seen after being turned away by a GP's receptionist.

But his mum Sarah Allen, 36, claims shocking photos of Jasper's infected chickenpox sores - which covered every inch of his body - have been stolen by social media charlatans and have racked up millions of shares alongside claims he has cancer and needs money for surgery.

Nursery manager Sarah, from St Neots, Cambs, alleges she has reported the photos to Facebook 30 times since she spotted them earlier this month - but said they have not been taken down.

Married mum-of-two Sarah, who also has a daughter Poppy, six, with postman husband Keith, 38, said: "I first saw and reported the pictures two or three weeks ago.

"The photos of Jasper are on Google, but that's not the point. It's not the fact they stole the pictures, it's the fact they're lying - cancer is not something you should joke about.

"I have had friends and family call up thinking Jasper actually has cancer. It is really upsetting and distressing. I've even seen people commenting on the post offering to transfer donations.

"I think it is disgusting. They are scammers. They can't be real human beings, because no person would think this is ok. They are making up lies.

"I commented on the post and said 'you sick b*****d, this is my son, he does not have cancer, take these pictures down' and the page liked my comment.

Sarah Allen claims Facebook scammers are using pictures of her son's chickenpox in a bid to collect donations.  Photo / Caters
Sarah Allen claims Facebook scammers are using pictures of her son's chickenpox in a bid to collect donations. Photo / Caters

"What Jasper went through was awful but it was nothing compared to cancer - that's why you shouldn't just throw something like that around. It is not a joke.

"Facebook can achieve amazing things, but sometimes it fails you."

Jasper was hospitalised last July after developing "hundreds" of chicken pox spots - but Sarah claimed less than 48 hours before he was rushed to hospital she was refused an appointment at her GP surgery because a receptionist did not think his condition was severe enough to warrant a visit.

She launched a petition calling on the government to make a vaccination against the disease - currently only available to certain children on medical grounds - free for all on the NHS as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.

But now the fake post - which claims Jasper has cancer and said Facebook bosses have agreed to donate money for surgery for him - has more shares than her original awareness message.

It reads in full: "This little baby has cancer and he need money for surgery. Facebook has decided to help by giving. 1 Like = 2 dollars. 1 Comment = 4 dollars. 1 Share = 8 dollars. Please don't scroll down without typing Amen."

Sarah claims she has reported the pictures to Facebook about 30 times for copyright breach, child nudity and inappropriate content and received a response from the social media giant stating one of the profiles had been taken down.

But she claims the post is still visible and has now racked up 1.2 million shares, 239,000 likes and 149,000 comments.

Sarah said: "Seeing those photos keep coming up on Facebook is hard - it was a horrible time. And it isn't just Jasper - they are doing this to people all the time.

"Everyone is commenting on the posts saying it is not cancer, it is a little boy with chicken pox.

"I have reported it for nudity, for copyright and for inappropriate content - about 30 times in total.

Two-year-old Jasper Allen hit the headlines when he was hospitalised for five days with the worst chickenpox doctors had ever seen. Photo / Caters
Two-year-old Jasper Allen hit the headlines when he was hospitalised for five days with the worst chickenpox doctors had ever seen. Photo / Caters

"I have had so many people message me about it and I keep reporting it constantly, lots of my friends have reported it too.

"I received a message from Facebook saying it had been removed but it is still there.

"Apparently these fake pages share as much as they could to get likes and followers, then when they have enough they sell the page to someone who wants it for business.

"Now this fake post has more shares than my petition calling on the government to make the chickenpox vaccination part of the NHS' routine childhood immunisation schedule.

"Facebook need to make the reporting process better and take things like this down straight away. You can't even have a breastfeeding photograph on Facebook without it being taken down, but somehow this is fine?"

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