To quote Mr. Richman, in part,
Check the facts on a fact-checking site. The following are the big four: Snopes.com is the grand-daddy of all fact-checking sites. Some of the worst chain spams even quote Snopes with an embedded link to give their e-mail an added level of authenticity. TruthOrFiction.com is an excellent site from Rich Buhler. About Urban Legends is an about.com subsite that has been hosted for ten years by David Emery, who is passionate about finding and debunking rumors, myths, pranks, and odd stories. Break The Chain has been around since 1999 and is an authoritative source on stupid chain mails.We usually call this type of story or news article an "alligator story" after the reference to alligators in the New York sewers. Don't fall for alligator stories. Check your facts.
You might want to be prepared to have a lot of popups if you follow some of the above links.