Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stop this circulating

There are a lot of hoax emails out there that offer you bad advice. This particular one offers very bad advice. If you receive it - ignore it and don't pass it on.

The email claims to be from a senior police officer called Manuel Piedrabuena and advises drivers ‘to be careful at Guardia civil check points. The hoax email states that Sr Piedrabuena told a police conference ‘the other day' about a new activity of robbers on secondary roads.

It goes on to explain that a gang, mainly Rumanian including people from Bulgaria and Poland, are disguising themselves as Guardia Civil, with similar uniforms, tri-corn hats, but non-standard pistols. The email claims the gang even have cars similar to those of the Guardia Civil.

Because their disguise is not very effective in the light of day, the gang work at night. They wait until a car appears and stop it at the side of the road. They then say that they are checking for drink driving and the result of their test is always positive even if you have not been drinking.

Naturally, most people will challenge this result and that is when their game starts.

The gang then tell you that perhaps the machine is not working properly but that they have another machine fixed in their car which will provide a correct result.

The hoax goes on to state that the Guardia Civil never ask a driver to leave their car - this is not true.

The email adds: "As soon as you get into their car they will rob you of everything, money, credit cards, mobile phone and whatever they find in your car."·

It also states: "Be very careful if you are stopped by the Guardia Civil on secondary roads - keep your mobile phone ready so that you can call the police."

Finally the recipient of the email is told to send the message to all their friends.

The email has now been so widely distributed over the five years that it has been doing the rounds that it has become a danger.

The worry is that people will think it is true and they will decide not to stop at a Guardia Civil road checkpoint. Failure to stop means that they could be chased and forced off the road. In the worst case, someone could end up being shot for refusal to cooperate with the police.

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