"Error, indeed, is never set forth
in its naked deformity,
lest, being thus exposed,
it should at once be detected.
But it is craftily decked
out in an attractive dress,
so as, by its outward form,
to make it appear to the
inexperienced (ridiculous as
the expression may seem)
more true than truth itself."
Hoax CheckUp Pages
This page contains links to pages which verify or debunk many of the emails circulating
on the internet, and set your facts straight, including:
If you need a personal reason
to refrain from forwarding unvalidated email disinformation,
hoax forwarding is the trademark behavior of a
new and inexperienced computer user.
How do YOU want to be perceived by your
friends and colleagues?
Useful links to the U.S. Department of Energy's CIAC (Computer Industry
Advisory Capability) Pages for checking on validity of email warnings, stories,
How to spot a Hoax,
and How to Handle It, by U. S. Department of Energy and the CIAC
computer incident response team.
Check the Facts
... in that Email Before You Forward. Public Service Pages
by the Office of the Chief Information Officer of the
U. S. Department of Energy
and the CIAC computer incident response team.
... neither Bill Gates, nor Outback Steakhouse,
(nor anyone else) is going to pay you money
for forwarding emails.
Although you might, however, complete a form on a business
page, and download a coupon!
Of course, if you, essentially "sell" your friends' email addresses
in exchange for a coupon, you may not have many very long,
... coupons OR friends.
GENERAL DISINFORMATION RESOURCES
Validate or Debunk Urban Legends
- Electronic Ephemera
FREE service Offered by ChekWARE to help debunk email disinformation, such as
Hoaxes, Scams, Spoofs, Urban Legends, Chain E-Mails.
- UL Archive
Urban Legend evaluations in a usenet group archive online since 1991.
Use the site's "Google" search to type in keywords and locate subjects.
- Check out rumors, inspirational stories, virus
warnings, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer
requests and calls to action to see if they are TRUTH! or FICTION!
...your Email Reality Check!
- Urban Legends Reference Pages
- --by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
- HOAX INFO
- A site designed just to debunk email hoaxes!
Health Related Hoaxes and Rumors
- Center For Disease Control's Health Hoaxes Page
How to Handle Virus Warnings
Advice from NAI/McAfee...
It is difficult to resist the temptation to forward email warnings,
"just-in-case." Try to remember that JIC forwarding is itself damaging.
What SHOULD we do when we receive virus warnings?
- Take a moment, delaying
that instant reaction. Realize that if it's a REAL threat, the news
media and legitimate antivirus sources will publish all the necessary
- Check out the facts. The
Hoax Information Centerprovides a comprehensive list of
the most common hoaxes.
- If you are in an enterprise,
ask your system administrator to verify its accuracy.
- Try a simple search on a
site such as
Google to see what information there is about it. [Or any of the links
we've provided on this page! --mcy]
When in doubt, don't sent it out!
Handling Legitimate Virus Reports...
If you've received a report
of a legitimate virus, you still should not forward it.
Instead, take a few moments to find a valid link on an antivirus
or security site (such as NAI McAfee or Symantec using links on this
page) and send the link-to-the-TRUTH back to your sender instead.
Then you will REALLY be doing your Internet friends a favor.
Why I bothered to set up this link page
I receive over a hundred emails every day; about 30% are advertising, which might be considered
"spam," but it is legitimate advertising from reputable companies. Another 5% are from questionable sources offering me the proverbial "get rich quick" scheme. These are easy to
sort and dispose of quickly - even automatically using filtering software. Sadly, I cannot
just "can" emails of dear friends and relatives, nor respected work associates or fellow
organization members. These must be opened and reviewed. It is all too often that they
are sending me [with best intentions] erroneous "bomb scares" so to speak, regarding
supposed computer viruses. Even worse though, is the mass of chain-letter type mailings,
with insistence that I must forward to a number of people, or else...
Most good folks don't realize how their good intentions can be hurtful.
- 1. reap "bad luck" ... assuming I am an easily intimidated,
fearful and superstitious person.
- 2. miss out on free money or gifts ... assuming I am a gullible
and greedy person.
- 3. indicate that I lack commitment to my faith ...assuming that
the sender may judge my level of faith by their own criteria.
What is an "Urban Legend?"
"An urban legend:"
- appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in varying forms
- contains elements of humor or horror (the horror often "punishes" someone who flouts society's conventions).
- makes good storytelling.
- does NOT have to be false, although most are.
- ULs often have a basis in fact, but it's their life after-the-fact (particularly in reference to the second and third points) that gives them particular interest."
--according to Peter van der Linden and Terry Chan,
as presented in their user group alt.folklore.urban FAQ