This landed in my work inbox today:
I have received the following serious information via a contact at the London Ambulance Service which has units closely associated with South London police squads which are involved in fighting Gang Crimes.
Some ‘street gangs’ in London (particularly South London at present, but it is sure to spread) have initiation tasks which new gang members have to carry out to be admitted to the ‘gang’. The latest craze is to drive around, deliberately with no lights on their cars. The first person who ‘flashes’ them, points at them or sounds their horn at them, has to be followed by that new gang member in their car, who then has to fire a shot into that vehicle !!! with no regard as to who is inside.
The LAS official instruction is that if they see a vehicle with no lights on, they are NOT to ‘flash’ it etc. and the advice to friends and family is that you should ignore any vehicles you see without lights.
I would ask that you pass this info on to family, friends and colleagues as it may save a life!
It came as a Word attachment and had been issued by the security officer to all the staff of an organisation that will remain nameless. As soon a I read it, I thought it was a bit sus so I rang someone I know in the police and yes, it was on their system, filed under ‘Urban Myths.’
Actually, it turns out to be quite an old urban myth dating back to the early 80s and having originally referred to Hell’s Angels in Montana, but essentially the same tale.
What I can’t understand is how a security officer could be taken in. And having been taken in, why email it to every employee? It was bound to start popping up outside the organisation and before you know it, there will be hundreds, thousands and millions of people forwarding on to everyone in their contacts books.
And as an attachment? Straight email virals are bad enough at clogging the system, but even at just 40kb those files are soon to mount up to gigabyte after gigabyte.
It’s the problem of the information — we give the gullible the technology to get duped and the really sad bit is that when they select all and click send, they think they are doing a ‘good thing.’ Anyway, if everything falls over tomorrow or the day after, you’ll know why.