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Hoaxes and Urban Legends: Hypodermic needles on gas pump handles

Whenever you receive an email that urges you to immediately forward that mail to everyone you know, there is a very good chance the email is a hoax. Please take the time to verify the message by doing a Google search before you send it on to anyone else. In most cases when you take an arbitrary sentence from the message and google for it you'll end up with many hoax warning pages as the result.

The following email is one such hoax and has been circulating since at least the year 2000. No "Captain Abraham Sands" works for the Jacksonville, Florida Police Department, which on June 20, 2000 issued a press release debunking the chain letter. There are no known cases of actual incidents as described in the email.

Please review:

Known email hoaxes:
The AOL/Microsoft money giveaway hoax
The "809" area code hoax
The burned baby hoax
Amy Bruce / Make A Wish hoax
The "Invitation" virus hoax
The "Life is beautiful" virus hoax
The Oliver North / Osama bin Ladin / Al Gore hoax
Send spam to the South African police to save children
Exxon/Mobile gas boycott
Bush IQ report / Lovenstein Institute hoax
Monkeyman935 warning hoax
Kidney Theft urban legend
Ashley Flores, 13 (missing child hoax)
How to detect a two-way mirror
$50 call-back spam
Cooking an egg with cell phones
"Osama captured" / "Osama hanged" virus
A tale of Japanese Lizards and Love
The $5 killer
Audi A8 made out of silver
ATM PIN code entered in reverse will call the police
Mars spectacularly close to Earth on August 27
"An old lady walked into a Grocery Store..."
"Allah or the Lord Jesus Christ?"
"PDA+GSM Palm Treo 650 dan Treo 680 dan Treo 750"
Bayer drug contains HIV
Forward or lose your Hotmail account
Chinese "fix" jet engine with seatbelts
AOL will donate five cents for baby's brain cancer operation
Ericsson distributing free laptops
Art Bell Filipino hate letter
Hypodermic needles on gas pump handles
"Through a rapist's eyes" / Crying Baby theory
Sheryl Crow / John Hopkins Cancer update about plastic bottles
Children buried alive in Egypt, saved by Jesus
Missing child - Regina George Muñoz
Papaya Juice - (NOT!) A Cure for Dengue
Hiroshima 64 years later (is actually Yokohama)
Lou Dobbs video on Immigration/Amnesty bill (dead since 2007)


Example chain letter (received in September 2008):


Subj: Fwd: Channel 36 News **This is serious**
Date: 3/14/2008 10:31:27 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
From:
To:
Sent from the Internet (Details)









Warning: Look at the gas pump handle BEFORE you pump your gas. Please read and forward to anyone you know who drives a car.
My name is Captain Abraham Sands of the Jacksonville , Florida , Police Department. I have been asked by state and local authorities to write this email in order to get the word out to car drivers of a very dangerous prank that is occurring in numerous states. Some person or persons have been affixing hypodermic needles to the underside of gas pump handles! These needles appear to be infected with HIV positive blood. In the Jacksonville area alone, there have been 17 cases of people being stuck by these needles over the past five (5) months. We have verified reports of at least 12 others in various states around the country. It is believed that these may be copycat incidents due to someone reading about the crimes or seeing them reported on television. At this point no one has been arrested and catching the perpetrator 's) has become our top priority. Shockingly, of the 17 people who where stuck, 8 have tested HIV positive and because of the nature of the disease, the others could test positive in a couple years. Evidently the consumers go to fill their car with gas, and when picking up the pump handle get stuck with the infected needle. IT IS IMPERATIVE TO CAREFULLY CHECK THE HANDLE of the gas pump each time you use one. LOOK AT EVERY SURFACE YOUR HAND MAY TOUCH, INCLUDING UNDER THE HANDLE! If you do find a needle affixed to one, immediately contact your local police department so they can collect the evidence. PLEASE HELP US BY MAINTAINING A VIGILANCE, AND BY FORWARDING THIS EMAIL TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO DRIVES. THE MORE PEOPLE WHO KNOW OF THIS, THE BETTER PROTECTED WE CAN ALL BE.

Rose L ambert, Chief Aide to Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Mount Vernon District, 2511 Parkers Lane , Alexandria , VA 22306 .
PLEASE READ THIS AND PASS IT ON TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK!!!!



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