The internet can be a wonderful source of factual information. It can also be used to quickly pass bogus information to millions of people in a short time. Just because it came from a trusted relative, business associate or friend doesn't mean it is TRUE.
It doesn't really matter whether the inaccurate stories are passed on out of ignorance or maliciousness. Either way, passing on bogus stories WILL waste countless time, tie up resources, and may cause unnecessary concern. In addition, if the "friend" you forwarded false information to finds out it is bogus, they may question anything you send them in the future!
Below are some sites that attempt to research and confirm or deny the authenticity of many such incredible stories such as virus alerts, fighting the gas companies, kidney thieves, free money, million$ recipes, and many more that we've all seen. Please attempt to verify questionable stories, "offers", or other such e-mails or links before passing them on.
(Actually these sites are quite entertaining, educational, and somewhat sad after you realize just how gullible we can be)