Friday, October 31, 2008

Urban Myths - Hoax Chain Emails

Hardly a week goes by, especially since I started blogging, that I don't receive at least one hoax chain email warning of this or that new crime or criminal act - and today, coincidentally, I received two such emails.

A reader forwarded me the first chain email about a 3-year-old girl and 9-month old baby. First off, let me say that I do appreciate the reader sending the email to me. I have no doubt in my mind that people that forward these emails are well-intentioned but I must question the motives of people that draft the hoax emails. The second email arrived from a family member. Both appear below. By now, both emails have probably done the rounds throughout the world.

What we must understand is that in a climate of fear, panic sets in easy and South Africa, being the breeding ground of criminal innovation and terror, it is safer to believe these stories "just in case". The people that draft these hoax emails know that you would rather play it safe and pass it on than be responsible for not warning a loved one. Maybe it is a game for them to see how far the email goes and how long it remains active.

Folks, this is unhealthy. We must not panic and allow fear to rule our lives. I have offered as I do again to do the homework in ascertaining whether a story is factual or not and to post it should the email prove true. That is what we are set up to do. Before you press "send", divert it here and let us evaluate it first - like the reader did - before you worry someone unnecessarily.

We stress enough as it is, we do not need to compound it with false chatter that serves no purpose other than to further diminish the quality of our lives. Why believe manufactured stories when there is ample true horror stories to keep us going?

See also; 'Changeroom rape' a hoax
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Hoax email #1: Subject: FW: 3 year old girl & 9-month-old baby


Last week a 3 year old girl in South Africa was beaten and raped. She is still alive. The man responsible was released on bail yesterday. He is walking the streets.

If you are too busy to read this then just sign your name and forward this on. This is a very important petition. It is an essential part of the justice system for children. You may have already heard that there's a myth in South Africa that with a virgin will cure AIDS . The younger the virgin, the more potent the cure. This has led to an epidemic of rapes by infected males, with the correspondent infection of innocent kids. Many have died in these cruel rapes.

Recently in Cape Town , a 9-month-old baby was raped by 6 men . Please think about that for a moment. The child abuse situation is now reaching catastrophic proportions and if we don't do something, then who will?

Kindly add your name to the bottom of the list and please pass this on to as many people as you know.

If you are signature no.: 1000- please forward the mail-list to childprotectpca@saps.org.za

Please don't be complacent, do something about the kids of South Africa ...

You can make a difference. That child is fighting for life. This is just 1 of the million cases of child abuse, so please pledge your support and help keep CPU (CHILD PROTECTION UNIT) open. Please give your support to the petition and ensure that it goes to as many people as possible.

Please don't just leave it, make a difference

In order to write your name copy this message and paste it in a new mail (compose). Or click on forward and add your name to the list and send it on to others. Again, if you are
number 1000 please send this to: childprotectpca@saps.org.za

[there were already 753 names on the list]



Hoax email #2: Subject: Be Alert & Cautious / Must read!!


A man came over and offered his services as a painter to a female who was putting gas in her car and left his card. She said no, but accepted his card out of kindness and got in the car. The man then got into a car driven by another gentleman. As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand which accepted the card from the gentleman at the gas station.

She then noticed the men were immediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help. The men drove away but the lady still felt pretty bad for several minutes after she could finally catch her breath.

Apparently, there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her.

This drug is called 'BURUNDANGA' and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of them like REPEATED GANG RAPE. This drug is four times more dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on simple cards.

So take heed and make sure you don't accept cards at any given time alone or from someone on the streets. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services .

PLEASE SEND THIS E-MAIL ALERT TO EVERY FEMALE YOU KNOW

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