AIDS - and a fear of AIDS - is often used in hoax letters to stir up readers interest. This only serves to continue to stigmatize a population. The Needles on the Gas Pumps hoax is one such example.
There are variations on this hoax - that people are getting stuck on needles in telephone change drawers, on gas pumps, in soda machines. They´re all false. It claims that the needles are infected with AIDS. This plays on peoples´ fears of AIDS. This is a HOAX.
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 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. YOU MAY WISH TO INFORM ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO DRIVES. THE MORE PEOPLE WHO KNOW OF THIS THE BETTER PROTECTED WE CAN ALL BE.
If you get this email, please ignore it and delete it.