†† Online Hoaxes

When in Doubt, Donít Send It OutÖ



I will not get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if I donít forward an email! I will not hear any music or see a taco dog, if I do forward an e-mail.


Bill Gates is not going to send me money, Victoriaís Secret doesn't know anything about a gift certificate they're supposed to send me and Ford will not give me a 50% discount even if I forward my e-mail to more than 50 people!


I will never receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel, Old Navy, or anyone else if I send an e-mail to 10 people. I will never see a pop-up window if I forward an e-mail ...

NEVER! My phone will not mysteriously ring after I forward an e-mail. There is no such thing as an e-mail tracking program, and I am not stupid enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an e-mail to 10 or more people!


There is no kid with cancer through the Make-a-Wish program in England collecting anything! He did when he was 7 years old. He is now cancer free and 35 years old and doesnít want anymore postcards, calling cards, or get-well cards.


The government does not have a bill in Congress called 901B (or whatever they named it this week) that, if passed, will enable them to charge us 5 cents for every e-mail we send. There will be no cool dancing, singing, waving, colorful flowers, characters, or program that I will receive immediately after I forward an e-mail. The American Red Cross will not donate 50 cents to a certain individual dying of some never-heard-of disease for every e-mail address I send this to. The American Red Cross receives donations.


And finally, I will not let others guilt me into sending things by telling me I am not their friend or that I don't believe in Jesus Christ. If God wants to send me a message, I believe the bushes in my yard will burn before He picks up a PC to pass it on!


Now, repeat this to yourself until you have it memorized, and send it along to at least 5 of your friends before the next full moon or you will surely be constipated for the next three months and all of your hair will fall out.

Sometimes email hoaxes are sent out just to see how far the email will go. Other purposes include; harassing another person, using a pyramid scheme to try and get money, or to damage another personís or organizationís reputation.


The first virus hoax started in 1988, claiming that the person sending the email had downloaded it from a bulletin board.


You can commonly recognize hoaxes, often they use technical sounding language or hope to insinuate credibility by association. Beware of emails encouraging you to forward the message to everyone you know. Most of the hoaxes prey on our need to help others, some have been started by spammers hoping to gather email addresses.


Sympathy hoaxes describe a terrible incident or illness that has occurred, asking us to send money and pass the email on. The problem is, there is no way to stop the emails once the problem has been resolved.


Threat hoaxes usually advise you not to open messages with certain titles because they contain a virus. You can check the current list of virus hoaxes on the websites of most anti-virus companies. The Symantec anti-virus website (www.symantec.com/avcenter/) lists the latest viruses and security warnings. Hoax.com is also a good resource, as well as urbanlegends.com. It is best not to circulate the email without first checking with an authoritative source. If you suspect you have received an email hoax the best course of action is to delete it.