For some reasons, people will share the story to all their friends without hesitation, not realizing that they are in fact putting their name (account, email, ...) in a virtual list available to the world. The whole world of spammers!
Before sharing a "sad" story, think first:: If it was true, it would all over the news (TV, newspaper, radio...) not just on Facebook. It's easy to check if a story has some truth in it: Google it!
Some sites are dedicated at debunking those stories. Have a look, you may be surprized to find out that the story itself is really old or has many variants. Here's some good websites that you can use to validate your story:
It will take some just a few seconds to check it out. In the end, you'll avoid propagating lies, annoying your friends and keeping your name off the spammer list...
Do you know other websites that could check a hoax? Share them in the comments!