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Hoaxes and Urban Legends: Kidney Theft

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.

Since at least 1997 a story is making the rounds verbally and by email of someone who woke up in an ice-filled bathtub in a hotel room after having been drugged and having one or both of his kidneys surgically removed by an organ-trading gang. The story was variously claimed to have happened in New Orleans, Las Vegas and various other places, but no report could be located of any actual person in the USA or another developed country who had his kidneys stolen. The story is not medically plausible because a kidney from a random stranger would not be suitable to most transplant patients and a hotel room is not sufficiently sterile for such an operation to be viable. In April 2000 the National Kidney Foundation issued a public statement denouncing the report as an "urban myth run amok".

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)
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 (April 2006, Australian version):

Subject: true story Date: Tuesday 4th April 2006

This is a true story, it has been confirmed, the Medical Centre phone number at the end of this story is real. This guy went out On a Saturday night a few weeks ago to a party. He was having a good time and had a couple of beers and some girl seemed to like him & invited him to go to another party.

He quickly agreed & decided to go along with her. She took him To a party in some apartment and they continued to drink, & even got involved with some drug (unknown). The next thing he knew, he woke up completely naked in a bathtub filled with ice. He was still feeling the effects of the drugs, but looked around to see he was alone. He looked down at his chest,
which had CALL 000 or YOU'LL DIE" written on it with lipstick.
He saw a phone was on a stand next to the tub so he picked it up & dialled. He explained to the EMS operator what the situation was & that he didn't know where he was, what he took, or why he was really calling. She advised him to get out of the tub. He did, and he appeared normal, so she told him to check his back. He did, he found two 9 inch slits on his lower back.

She told him to get back into the tub immediately, and they sent a rescue team over. Apparently, after being examined, he found out more of what had happened. His kidneys were stolen. They were worth $10,000 each on the black market. Several guesses are in order:

The second party was a sham, the people involved had to be at least medical students & it was not just recreational drugs he was given. Regardless, he is currently in the hospital on a life support, awaiting a spare kidney. The University of Sydney in conjunction with the Royal Prince Alfred hospital is conducting tissue research to match the victim with a donor.

I wish to warn you about a new crime ring that is targeting business travellers. This ring is well organized and well funded, has very skilled personnel & is currently operating in most major cities around the world and recently very active in Sydney.

The crime begins when a business traveller goes to a lounge for a drink at the end of the work day. A person in the bar walks up as they

sit alone and offers to buy them a drink. The last thing the traveller remembers until they wake up in a hotel room bathtub, their body submerged to their neck in ice, is sipping that drink.

There is a note taped to the wall instructing them not to move and to call 000. A phone is on the small table next to the bathtub for them to call. The business traveller calls 000 who have been quite familiar with this crime. The business traveller is instructed by the 000 operator to very slowly and carefully reach behind them and feel there is a tube protruding from the back. The business traveller finds the tube and answers "YES". The 000 operator tells them to remain still, having already sent paramedics to help. The operator knows that both of the traveller's kidneys had been harvested.

This is not a scam or out of science fiction novel. It is real. It is documented and confirmable. If you travel or someone close to you travels, please be careful. Sadly, this is very true. My friend's husband is a Sydney EMT and they have received alerts regarding this crime ring. It is to be taken very seriously. The daughter of a friend of a fire-fighter had this happen to her. Skilled doctors are performing these crimes! (which, by the way have been highly noted in the Brisbanearea). Additionally, the military has received alerts Regarding this.

I REALLY WANT AS MANY PEOPLE TO SEE THIS AS POSSIBLE SO PLEASE BOUNCE
THIS TO WHOEVER YOU CAN.
Michele Shafer
DML/Lab Administration
Medical Manager Research & Development
99 Missenden RD, Camperdown, Sydney 2000

Tel:(029)5156111;

Fax:(029)4621505

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

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