I first saw this just last night from my sister who is currently in Florida on a Disney internship (I can’t stop bragging about her. I’m so proud!!), and was seriously concerned. She doesn’t have a car while she’s down there, but that didn’t make me feel any better. So I looked up the story to be sure of the details. Apparently this is all just a hoax that can be traced all the way back to 2000, but then is what spread through email rather than as a Facebook message like the latest version. This hoax plays on a person’s fear of unsuspectingly contracting the deadly disease while going about doing ordinary harmless activities.
The original message went:
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 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 the 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, eight have tested HIV positive and because of the nature of the disease, the others cold test positive in a couple of 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 YOU 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 THIS THE BETTER PROTECTED WE CAN ALL BE.
The first part of the hoax is that there is no Abraham Sands at the Jacksonville Police Department. The name was used to make the email look authoritative. A call to the Jacksonville Police Department said that they had never heard of
the person before.