How to spot an email hoax - HashOut
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How to spot an email hoax

How to filter an internet hoax.
The Internet is a great way to share information, but also to spread lies and mischievous nonsense. When you get an unsolicited email, these warning signs, from urbanlegends.about.com, should ring alarm bells:
  1. The text was not originally written by the person who sent it to you.
  2. Phrases such as "This is NOT a hoax..."
  3. ...Or "Forward this to everyone you know."
  4. Overly emphatic language or heavy use of CAPITALS and exclamation marks!!!!!!!!
  5. Language that seems more geared to persuade than to inform.
  6. Claims to offer important information you've not heard before from legitimate sources.
  7. Subtle jokes that might suggest leg pulling.
  8. No reference to outside sources nor links to websites with corroborating information.
  9. Replies with "Re:" in the subject title from people you haven't written to.

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2 Comments:

  1. Sam Chan said...

    Hi Aziz,

    Thanks for this tips!

    A lot of my friends and colleagues fall into the trap of e-mail hoax even though I had advised them a couple of times.

    Below is a typical e-mail reply to all my friends who participate in chain e-mails:

    Many people believe every email messages received without checking it out.

    Sad to said, many of us still fall into the tricks of spammer/hackers who are happy harvesting all our e-mail addresses and asking people to circulate e-mails with viruses/worms if the sender computer is infected!

    Well, everyone of us do have friends who really care, concern and like to share what they have gathered. That's good. However, the problem is we are helping the spammer/hackers sending out fake stories and our friends continue helping them circulating it. What's wrong - you might be asking? Well, imagine what happen if a sender PC is infected with viruses, worms or trojans also start circulating these kind of e-mails, these senders are then indirectly helping the spammer/hackers to contact us or our PCs!.

    Please do not circulate until you had checked all chain e-mails messages. And if you do want to send them after verifying, please send via BCC to avoid spammer collecting our e-mail addresses which causes the rise of spams. Anybody could easily send to all because everybody e-mails addresses are available when we do a Reply all in Chain E-mail. Well, one could not do so, if chain e-mail was sent via BCC.

    Don't know how to check whether any chain letters are authentic? A good website that can help us to check things out is http://www.snopes.com. Another is www.google.com. One just need to go to www.google.com and enter some of the prominent keywords used in the message / content after the word urban legend e.g.

    on Google just search for: urban legend The American Cancer Society will donate 3 cents

  2. Aziz said...

    Thanks Sam for the valuable tips!