Hoax Emails and How to Spot Them

Ninety-eight percent of the forwarded emails I get in my inbox, warning me of various dangers, are hoaxes.  Ninety-eight precent of the forwarded warnings you get in your inbox are false, too.

So if you’re one of those people who passes on 100% of those emails, I have 2 words for you:  Stop it.  And if you’re one of those people who forwards those emails on to me, I have 3 words for you:  Seriously — stop it.

Before you spam every friend, family member, and random acquaintance in your online address book, check out snopes.com.  Use their handy search box to plug in keywords from the subject or body of the email to find out whether the story is true or not.

If you can’t remember snopes.com (my sister kept trying to find snoops.com and telling me it wouldn’t go through), just type keywords from the subject line followed by the words “hoax email” into google or any other search engine, and that should bring up a list of sites telling you whether or not your email is indeed a hoax.

Again, the best time to do this is before you forward the email.  I never forward a warning email until I’ve checked it out first.

And just in case you were wondering, no, you will not receive cash or prizes by forwarding an email to Microsoft or AOL (or anyone else); yes, the handles of shopping carts are teeming with germs; no, your magic eraser does not contain formaldehyde; yes, ingestion of hand sanitizer by children can result in alcohol poisoning; and speaking of childern, no, drinking mountain dew does not reduce your sperm count, and no, coca cola is not an effective spermacide.

Snopes.com also has a page called “Daily Snopes” which features links to news articles and websites of interest to their readers, such as this one about a man who is suing a flower company which accidentally revealed his affair to his wife.

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