Email hoaxes

This one is for my friends…

I know quite a few of you get email from friends and coworkers about whatever is going around.

  • Please forward this to…
  • sign your name as a petition and…

Well, do a quick search before you send it off. Why? You could be sending pointless email that have to truth or validity. They’d also be aiding in the congestion of email servers everywhere. (Or, something to that extent.)

Reading Steve Bass today, he gave a few good links to share with others. So, I’m doing just that, and I hope you’ll do the same one way or another:
Truth Or Fiction – email reality check Urban Legends and Folklore

And off the site:

Urban Legends and Folklore FAQs
How To Spot An Email Hoax
How To Spot An Urban Legend

I sent those last three links last August to a friend, and I haven’t gotten those types of emails from him since. Hopefully it’s because he’s been cross-checking email to those types of sites listed above.

If you know of any other sites not listed above, that don’t have popups, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

3 thoughts on “Email hoaxes”

  1. I’ve tried telling people about these before, but it seems if the message is either funny or touching enough they’ll still send it.

    I’ve always wondered that, as these messages often reach me with fifty-odd names in the reply box, if they may be created by spammers who are hoping the message will eventually get back to them or one of their “associates”. It might take a while, but once it did it would have a feast of active email address in the headers.

    I also try to warn my co-workers that just because an email has “scanned for virus, none found” or similar at the end of the message -doesn’t mean it’s safe to open! Thankfully they seem to have got the message now. Mostly.


  2. Yea, no matter how much you teach them.. they still somehow screw up. People are WAY too gullibe on the internet. I mean, i was at a friends house, and one of the family members was reading an email she got (chain) and was almost at tears due to the sad story. Thank god i was there, she was about to send it to the entire world.. lol


  3. is great for debunking these things. We have a ‘chainmail’ filter on our mail gateway which blocks mails containing terms like “forward this to all your friends” and “send this to all smart women you know”. Honestly, I can’t believe how long some of these things have been circulating. I actually saw a variant on the old “Microsoft is tracking your email” hoax the other day – that’s nearly 10 years old!
    The ones that really wind me up are the email ‘petitions’ where you are told a sad / outrageous story and asked to add your name to the list and send it to 10 contacts. Nobody seems to notice that it is a ridiculously retarded method of trying to garner support for something – you’re gonna end up with a gazillion different lists of names :-\


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