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Break the Chain
neuro comment 30 Comments

I got a beauty forwarded to me this morning in my email:

-----Original Message-----
From:		[snip'd]
Sent:		Monday, January 16, 2006 08:56
To:		[snip'd]
Subject:	Message from Strathclyde Police

You walk across the car park, unlock your car and get inside. Then you
lock all your doors, start the engine and shift or put into REVERSE, and
you look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your parking space and
you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So,
you shift the gear stick back into park or neutral, unlock your doors and
jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is
obstructing your view.
When you reach the back of your car that is when the car-jackers appear
out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off!! Your engine was running,
you would have left your purse in the car and they practically mow you
down as they speed off in your car.
Just drive away and remove the paper later! It is stuck to your window and
be thankful that you read this email. I hope you will forward this to
friends and family especially to women! A purse contains all
identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home
address. They already HAVE your keys!!! JUST BE AWARE AND TAKE CARE IT
Brian Molloy 
Detective Constable 
Force Intelligence Bureau 
Strathclyde Police 
0141 532 5867 

If you get something like this, and it smells like a hoax … it’s because it is a hoax — what gives this particular gem away is that it’s supposedly an official missive from Strathclyde Police, yet it’s littered with capitals and exclamation marks, and most noticably incites you to forward it to all and sundry — don’t forward it on. A cursory google for carjacking and spam, hoax, chain letter or snopes (to check the Snopes urban myth site) shows many examples of how this particular spam — and it is spam — has propagated over the years.

Remember: if it looks like it, and smells like it, check it, then bin it. Eventually you’ll recognise them on sight and bin them immediately.

  1. You should reverse *into* the parking space anyway, so you can drive out forwards. The reason being, of course, that you’re not trying to shove 15 feet of car out into the road where you can’t see what’s going on properly.

  2. If you’re a bit dumb and can’t spot an email hoax here’s a little tip that’ll help you…

    If the mail asks you to forward it to more than one person it’s bullshit. Delete it and get on with your day.

  3. It is clearly not Scottish because, like the English, they say 'handbag' not 'purse'. And why would a detective constable send it.? I reckon it started in the States. But it is not a bad thing to be aware of carjacking methods. And, being an elderly woman with stiff joints, I don't find backing into narrow spaces easy. But being elderly I am careful and do not leave engines running and keys in when I get out.

  4. should also add that i do think this is a load of rubbish as the web site would have had something about it.

  5. Although not wishing to poo hoo the seriousness of car jacking or the credibility of this story but having been born in the Strathclyde area I really feel you are crediting Glaswegian crim’s with way too much ingenuity. Trust me, after two battered sausages, a battered mars bar and two pizza’s your average thug is simply going to open your car door (whilst you sitting in it) and say “See us the keys tae yer car, yez bampot or I’ll stoat yer head aff a wa (wall) “

  6. My husband, who works for a North of England Police Force brought home this e-mail to me tonight. (I still work part time in Crime Prevention in the U.S. & Canada.)
    I recognised this hoax e-mail as one that started out in the U.S. in early 2004, where it was quickly de-bunked and exposed as a hoax.

    I am just amazed that it is still in circulation and has fooled a U.K. Police Force into circulating this on their Ringmaster system, two years later…. in December 2006.

  7. Simon…There are Force Intelligence Bureaus (FIB’s) in police forces…take it from me as a copper!

    Not denying its a hoax though…received it this very morning!

  8. Straightforward way of finding out if it is a hoax. Phone Brian Molloy on the MAIN Strathclyde Police number. That’s what I did. Surprise surprise it is a hoax … again.
    Let’s all be frightened……

  9. This may be a hoax, but it has probably given a few “less desirables” the idea of car jacking ion this manner!! My advice is if you want to pass on emails like this remember to NEVER forward, copy and paste to a new email. All you do when you forward is pass on all the previous email addresses.

  10. Hoax or not, it’s good advice / reminder not to leave your car with the engine running !

  11. OK so it’s a hoax, but it’s damn good advice. I’ve talked to friends who have experienced similar attempts to get them out of their cars on false pretences……..

  12. Mmm – I think if you need advice that leaving your car running when you are not in it is a bad idea, then you probably don’t deserve a car in the first place………good grief! What is the world coming to? Next we’ll be told its not a good idea to stick your hand in a fire……

  13. Brian sent this in error as he didn’t know what was the send button and what was ther delete button!

  14. Well, just an update to let everyone know, this is, in fact, still in circulation!!! Just received it.
    I am disappointed in the person who sent it to me. I hate these emails – what a waste of bandwidth.

  15. By the way these things are worded it is easy to spot it as a hoax, however it is definately a warning as to how careful we need to be. The fact that this has been so widely spread may well give opportunists an idea that this could work and they might give it a go.

  16. Still going strong, recieved this morning. (From an ex-copper would you believe!) I’m still going with the ‘it’s sound advice’ brigade (be honest, how many people would actually turn the engine off, remove the keys and lock the doors just to remove a piece of paper from the rear window?) Just my opinion, nothing else…

  17. Maybe I'm just hyper-vigilant, but sure someone approaching their own car would automatically give the vehicle a look over to make sure that there weren't any problems – i.e. tyres, broken glass, dent etc. How big is the piece of paper purported to be in the first instance? Most people would just drive on anyways, because they tend to rely on their side mirrors more. If the piece of paper was placed strategically to block the view of the rear mirror, then yes I could understand why, but why not use the wiper to remove it from the window.

    Anyways, I received the email this morning also. Knew it was a hoax immediately.

  18. Thought it was a hoax when I saw it. I ALWAYS check these things before sending on, I will now send link from this page to person who sent it to me (In good faith) like I have done before….
    When you get into a car in a car park or any other place it is a very good Idea to LOCK THE DOORS before doing anything you time, maybe only a few seconds to do something should anybody try to get in the car. never unlock & get out if unexplained happens like dustbin in front of car in driveway. push it out of way slowly with the car.If a masked man
    with a weapon jumped in front of my car I know what I would do…..
    sound the horn of course.

  19. I don’t care if this is a hoax, how many times have you seen people jump back out of their car in the supermarket car park to take an avertising leaflet off the back or the front window? too many!! If it makes people think before they do it, then it will have done it’s job.

  20. Hi Ya All

    Just had this email posted on a community web site I use, someone else posted this link saying it was a hoax so it’s still doing the rounds.

    As a reminder that these things happen in our cozy worlds, it’s not a bad thing but I have to agree, if you see something strange and you get out of your car leaving the engine running to investigate then you are obviously putting yourself at risk and whilst we all have ‘dumb’ days when we forget these things, we generally know when things don’t feel quite right with a situation.

    I’m not sure if it’s correct but I heard that if you drive frontward into a parking space then reverse out, if you hit something or someone on the way out, you are liable for accident even if it wasn’t your fault. Maybe someone knows the answer to that one but there is another reason to reverse into a parking space.

    On another point, not everyone in the world is as literate as some people, so any person receiving this and other similar emails may not be able to distinguish between grammatical errors and cleverly typed scare hoax mails therefore sending them on without realising, a pain in the rear end I know but something we sometimes have to take into consideration before we jump down peoples throats and start calling them dumb.



  21. Recieved this a few minutes ago.. and as always with these kinds of things, i googled it, and surprise surprise its a hoax! Normally i send it back to the person who sent it to me, with a link to the hoax details, but it doenst seem to stop them sending the next different kind of hoax! I guess while these people continue to forward the messages, they will just keep coming! Fools!!

  22. An interesting point from Jenni. No, it doesn’t stop them does it! I’m sure some learn, I did; and some quicker than others. A female acquaintance started sending me hoax emails about 4 years ago, and each time I either directed her to Snopes, or I sat down and wrote point by point explanations as to why the mails she was forwarding to me were hoaxes (and few as intelligent as the car hijack story). The result: after about six months she stopped sending the hoaxes to me, and has never acknowledged any of my messages since. Apparently I’ve lost a contact, and for what reason? I guess she still forwards the rubbish to other people, just not to me. Only the other day a long time (though not close) male friend did a similar thing, but he sent a two word message, followed by a PS, claiming that I was insulting his ‘artistic tallent’. Their problems I think!

  23. Just got the email. I am interested in Anne’s question posted back in Nov – why are these chain emails initiated in the first place? when i was a kid i remember the chain letters craze and you had to rewrite the letter however many times and then forward to as many people as possible or else suffer some hideous consequence. Is it jsut a bunch of weirdos with nothing else to do?

  24. Well according to Pat van der Veer that’s four years this thing has lasted!

    In response to Anne and Claire – I think it’s just bored people out to have fun and see what others will believe. I think it’s the grain of good advice that plays on caring people who just don’t realise it’s a hoax, which is unfortunate as it’s taking advantage of well-meaning people.

    Having received forwards warning me to be aware of people trying to drug me with horse tranquilisers right through to “bonsai kittens” I know that there are those out there who appear to believe anything if you can play on the right sympathies and fears. Personally I can understand the challange to push the limits and see just what people will believe!!!

    Anyone else just love the forwards that say….I love you, you mean so much to me and I wanted to send you this saying how lovely you are and that you’ve touched my life……….and if you don’t forward this on to 20 people in the next 45 minutes you’ll be cursed with bad luck for the next decade!!!

  25. I received this email today, so it is still doing the rounds now, but I always check all emails now to see if they are a hoax, and if I do forward on I use the B.c.c button so as not to pass the addresses on.

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