The "Knockout Game" has repeatedly made headlines on CNN, but it has all the makings of an urban legend to rival gang members killing people for flashing their high beams or hiding underneath cars to slash their victim's ankles.
Here's a look at recent hoaxes, scams and even (shock!) a real story circulating via email and Facebook. They include a golden oldie about not pumping gas on April 15, a rant about aircraft carriers gathering in Norfolk, Va., a run down of Easter's pagan traditions, and more.
Coffee Clash: Snopes dismantles an email claiming that the Starbucks CEO affirmed the company's stance supporting gay marriage ... and told traditional marriage supporters they weren't wanted http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/starbucks.asp
An e-mail claims that Mars will soon be looming so large in our skies that it will rival the moon. The truth is that while Mars did get very close to Earth a few years ago, that merely turned it into a slightly brighter red star in the sky. If it actually did get as close as the email claims, the Earth would be wracked by high tides and thrown out of its orbit.
Here's the email.
Two Moons on 27th, August 2007*
*27th August; the day the Whole World is waiting for .....
An e-mail claiming to showcase photos of a hanged/hanging and/or captured Osama din Laden is a hoax. The e-mail originated as an attempt to get people to download a trojan horse virus on to their computer, but it later morphed into a scare mail warning people about the alleged apocalyptic dangers of opening the e-mail. The virus itself has been neutralized, and the dangers were never as bad as what the hoax e-mail claims.
The destructive power of gel candles is heralded by a scare e-mail claiming these candles are capable of destroying toilets and burning down houses. The e-mail has some facts right; gel candles can flare up, causing fires, the glass containers holding gel candles have shattered and there have been several gel candle recalls. But none of the recalls say anything about these candles exploding.
The threat of the 809 phone scam--in which individuals try to trick people in the U.S. into calling a seemingly-national, but actually-international phone number--is blown ridiculously out of proportion by an e-mail circulating the net.
Truth is corrupted by fiction in an e-mail chainletter that tries to warn about the dangers of the recalled drug phenylpropanolamine.
A new e-mail is circulating the net claiming that the Bush administration is quietly attempting to bring back the draft, with an eye towards springing it on the country in Spring 2005, after the elections are over. In truth, while almost all of the elements in the e-mail are true -- there are draft bills before the Legislature, the Selective Service has been overhauling it's operations -- the spin the e-mail gives them is dubious at best.
There's an e-mail that's been going around for quite a while called "Bush's Resume" which lists a few dozen "accomplishments" of the president. This blog entry includes links to sites that attempt to refute the points of this dubious document.