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Spot and Stop Hoax Emails

Our inboxes are flooded with emails these days.
And we've all got that one person in our address book who sends us completely useless (and often untrue) chain emails, forwards and jokes.
Don't wait for one of your recipients to hit "reply all" and tell all your friends how wrong you were. Learn to sort fact from fiction when it comes to email forwards.
Hoaxes continue to spread because many recipients aren't sure whether they're true or not. They pass them along "just in case" and the cycle continues.
Before you hit that forward button, run the content through a site like Snopes ( or Truth or Fiction ( Search for a particular hoax using keywords or browse through common categories of hoaxes.
There are also a few general rules to keep in mind when deciding whether or not an email message is legit:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Emails promising money, gift certificates or other incentives just for forwarding the message are almost always false.
  • Messages that seem excessively urgent or desperate are most likely untrue.
  • Hoax emails usually don't include credible references for the claims they make. Even if a name is listed, check it out before passing the message along.
  • Unusual photos can also be checked for accuracy on the Web.

Make sure your recipients aren't rolling their eyes when your next email arrives in their inbox. Use a little common sense and take a few minutes to verify accuracy before you pass a message along.
Everyone in your address book will thank you.