NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Rumors, Hoaxes, or Myths
by Cliff Goeke, Vice President, June 2001
(click to email author)

Have you ever received a message claiming that if you didn't forward it to everyone on your ICQ list you would: 1) Be charged for using ICQ, 2) Have your ICQ account terminated or 3) Have your computer reduced to a smoldering heap of liquid silicon? Chances are if you've been using ICQ you either have or will receive such messages. What will happen if you brazenly disregard the dire warning and refuse to forward the message? The answer is: nothing. They are all hoaxes... false rumors intended to spread panic and make you appear gullible when you pass them to your friends. To put it another way, they are "information viruses" that infect common sense and lead otherwise sensible people to believe even the most incredible claims circulating in cyberspace.

These same messages are also sent on some of the other instant message systems like AOL instant message and Yahoo message. These aren't the only hoaxes on the internet.

Here is a small list of some of the other hoaxes that you may receive in an email:

    Sick Kids
    Story of Little Jessica
    Reply from American Cancer Society
    SUNY Morrisville
    If U Delete This U Have No Heart
    Timothy Flyte
    Darren Bucklew
    Warrenton Cancer Clinic
    Dave Matthews and Tamara Martin
    Slow Dance
    Katie Relek
    Anna Cohen and Baby Jada
    Amy Bruce
    Best Friend's Friend's Dying Wish
    Tariq Hafeez and Fatima
    Money and Free Gifts
    How to Make $800,000
    Opportunity of Lifetime
    Win98 Free
    Summer Money
    Free Beer
    Microsoft Email Tracking (Microsoft and AOL)
    Free Gap Clothes
    New Honda
    Bath and Body Works
    Funny Video
    Aol and Intel
    100 Dollars
    Old Navy Gift Card
    $100 for Faxing Completed Survey
    Victoria's Secret Gift Certificate

If the email you received claiming to give you something for nothing or wanting you to send the message to all the people on your address list seems too good to be true, it most likely is.

You might check one of the following sites first:

More sites with information about internet myths and hoaxes can be found by using one of the search engines. I use http://www.dogpile.com

Have fun on the internet and please don't spread any rumors, hoaxes, or myths.

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