Gang Initiation Targets Cars that Flash Headlights Warning - Facebook Rumour

12 Jun 2013 - Article No: 1739. Filed under: Facebook Scams | Facebook Rumour

Police warning
One of the officers who works with the DARE programme has passed long the following warning and asked that it be shared with all drivers.
This is an extremely serious matter. If you are driving after dark and you see a car without its headlights on do not flash your lights, do not blow your horn or make any signals to the driver of the other car. This is a new common gang initiation game going on the streets.
The new member being initiated drives along without his headlights on until someone notices and flashes their headlights or makes some other action to signal him. The gang member is now required to chase the car and to shoot at or into the car in order to complete his initiation requirements.
Please take this seriously. This is not a joke. Please pass this on to everyone you know on email and in person. It could save someone`s life!

Rumours and a picture of a letter are circulating the Internet that claims gang members are involved with a “gang initiation game” that involves a gang member driving along a road at night with no headlights and targeting the first person to flash their headlights at them. The gang member allegedly has to track the targeted car and kill all of its occupants.

Variants of this rumour identify the gang members as belonging to the Bloods gang. A picture variant of the rumour uses a photo a letter apparently from security firm Chubb. Most versions claim to have come from a police officer involved with the D.A.R.E program.

The rumours are false and can be traced back a number of years, to at least 1993, when the rumour spread across the US, specifically New York and Massachusetts.

There is no evidence to suggest that crimes like this are being used as an initiation ritual for gangs, and the rumours have been dismissed multiple times from various police forces across the world who have had this hoax attributed to them, including the RCMP in 2005 and the London Ambulance service in 2004.

Of course over the years incidents relating to the description have occurred, such as criminals using the lure of flashing headlights to trick victims, and other related crimes that are not gang related. These incidents can often fuel this rumour, as well as references to it within fiction – the description made in the warnings is also a key plot line to the 1998 movie Urban Legend.

The latest incarnation of this rumour that sees a photo of a letter with the Chubb logo at the header has also been dismissed by Chubb themselves, who denounced the photo and asserted that the information did not come from them.

The story of gang initiations using some kind of extraordinary way of targeting victims is certainly a well used Internet ruse. The story of gang members leaving baby car seats to lure victims into pulling over has fooled thousands for years, as well as the rumour that gang members were using crying children as bait to lure victim.

This rumour about not flashing your headlights for fear of being targeted by gangs has been circulating for decades and has earned the status of a true, persistent urban legend, rearing its ugly head in dozens of different locations across the world and having forced dozens of agencies to refute its legitimacy. Forwarding such nonsense will cause needless worry and can cause problems for law enforcement agencies that have to spend and waste substantial time fielding and investigating such false claims.

Read our blog post on gang initiation hoaxes here.

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