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Okay, this is a subject that really grates on my nerves--BAD EMAILS!!! You know the ones--they go something like this: "I am a sick kid and if you forward this to everbody you have ever met in your life it will make me well" or perhaps they mention the mysterious "beta-test" and promise that you can simply foward your way to instant riches--bottom line, anyways--IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!!

Learn more about some of the hoaxes and viruses circulating around the net here.


This is a wonderful source of information about sex-offenders that may be living near you!!  OPEN RECORDS

JUNKBUSTERS is another site full of resources to avoid being cheated or taken advantage of on the web

HOAXKILL is a new one I found--if you get a hoax in your email, you can forward it to these folks and they will email everybody on that long list of forwards and let them know they have received a hoax. This is a technique I tried for awhile myself, but had to give up because I got one or two hate mails back per sending out of the message that it was a hoax--seems a lot of folks out there prefer to live in a dream world--one comment I have seen a few times is "What does it hurt to dream?" OKAAAAAAAY. LOL!!!


1. Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people. You care relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's true." Furthermore, just because someone said in the message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit," does not actually make it true. And the person that wrote "two weeks later I received a check for $24,870" is sitting back and laughing at all the people that believed his comment.

2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, visit this site And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None have ."That's "none" as in "zero." Not even your friend's cousin.

3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they do, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy a here Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on. PS the cookies do taste good, but it is not worth$200.00

4. If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain-letter?

5. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm that an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try: .com And even then, don't forward it. We don't care. And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email -- you have to download....ya know, like, a FILE!

6. If your cc: list is regularly longer than the actual content of your message, you're probably going to Hell.

7. If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off the "HTML encoding," Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.

8. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the that begin each line. Besides, if it has gone around that many times we've probably already seen it.

9. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a "little boy" either.

10. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation. It is distracting them from the important work they do.

11. If you are one of those people who forwards anything that promises "something bad will happen if you don't," then something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley. This includes prayers for "good luck," as the Bible is not a luck book.

12. Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are still   vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time) but forwarding an e-mail won't help either cause in the least. If you want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with Amnesty International or the Red Cross. As a general rule, e-mail "signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the competition is complaining about.

PS There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance companies to charge you for long distance when using the Internet.

Bottom Line ... composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it until it's proven false... ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that it's true. Got it? Good. Still need some help? Try out this link for size-- Internet Viruses, Virus Hoaxes & Urban Legends