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Bizarre email puzzles Urasoe City officials

Date Posted: 2007-07-30

A suspicious email has been turning up in dozens of computer mailboxes the past few days, telling the recipients a child had been kidnapped.

Urasoe City Police say they’ve been inundated by telephone calls reporting the email, which said “I’ve seen a child kidnapped by a small red car from a park in the Iso area.” The email described the car and license number, and included a photograph of the car. Officers say the flood of calls was so heavy, it was hard to even reach the City Hall or police station.

A thorough check of schools has been done, but no children have been reported missing or kidnapped. The email had appealed to readers “If you have any information, please call the Urasoe Police Station.”

Officers say the strange email also said “This email was from my friend, so would you please send this email to your friends?” Police think this is how the message spread across Okinawa, as parents and teachers linked in various networking systems rapidly shared the information.

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