We’ve all had them. Well meaning friends and relatives forward messages of how unscrupulous individuals are out to harm us and take our money. And yes there probably are criminals and conmen out to get us.
However they probably won’t be using any method described in a hoax email.
You can’t hope to protect yourself by looking out for every single specific permutation of scam going around. Doing that would leave yourself open to all the other scams that are around. What you must do is take general precautions in your every day life- precautions you can’t hope to learn from a forwarded email.
Hoax emails get around because everyone in the chain just trusted the person before and because some devious individual has attached big names to the warning. Many of them contain one or two grains of truth. The well meaning individuals who send these things on are probably thinking “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Well yes it is. However the safe option is to hit delete and not send the email. Because the chances of the warning doing anyone any good are remote but the chances a forwarded email will do harm are not.
So if you receive an email warning forwarded to you, check it out against the hoaxbuster sites such as snopes or breakthechain. If these websites seem too confusing, simply be safe rather than sorry and don’t forward email warnings.
I received an email through one of the local Freecycle list
Yuu might be interested in this website, which is
offering to organise us all together in order to increase our power when
I disagree fundamentally with the central premise of this site that all motorists need to use their cars. Some people because of where they live and the jobs they do need to yes. Most people do not. Most people could get by with a small amount of inconvenience without a car. The public transport system hasn’t completely fallen to pieces, and many journeys are of less than a mile which can be walked easily. With a little bit of planning most of us could get around “needing” a car. Just that most of us simply don’t want to. I don’t claim to be any kind of saint myself, I just accept that I use my car because I want to, not because I need to.
The problem with people complaining about high fuel prices is that we want a high quality and convenient lifestyle. Many people are, however, reluctant to accept the cost of that lifestyle and that much of the things we do are luxuries, not necessities.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being sent email that suggests I approve of child abuse for not wanting to forward junk email, especially by members of my own family.
In fact I don’t see what a campaign like that clogging up people’s inboxes does to combat anything. The message I’m referring to claims to be “The blue ribbon campaign against child abuse” and consists of a poem written from the perspective of an abused 3 year old girl called Sarah, followed by a request that the recipient broadcast it out to everyone the recipient knows via their email boxes. The poem is pornographic in the way the writer tries and fails to imagine what an abused 3 year old thinks, and really badly written.
Claiming that someone failing to pass on a chain email approves of child abuse, is as bad as claiming that someone failing to pass it on will get bad luck (or at least fail to get good luck) and have horrible things happen to them. Actually, it’s worse. Using child abuse as the emotional hook to get someone to pass on your chain message is to my mind just plain sick, whereas tails of good luck or rewards from Microsoft are relatively harmless.
A quick browse of http://www.breakthechain.org/ (bookmark it- a fantastic site) finds their take on the poem. Apparently the poem was originally about a child called Misty but since then someone has renamed the little girl in the hope of bypassing all the “Don’t pass this on” postings on the internet. This surely says buckets about the sort of people that pass these things on.
If you want to do something yourself about child abuse, visit the NSPCC (or your country’s equivalents) and look into the Full Stop campaign. Don’t forward sick chain emails to people.
A lot of people have come on here searching the web for information on whether or not an email about a boy from Khao Lak who is missing his parents is a hoax or not. This is probably because a version of the email misspelled the word Khao in Khao Lak. My original post about it is here.
In short, the email you recieved probably wasn’t a hoax but DO NOT PASS THE EMAIL ON!! The little boy, Hannes Bergstroem, was reunited with his father at the end of December.
So many have visited for this information the word “Khoa” has become the third most popular search term for this site, according to the statistics. I just congratulate those people who have the presence of mind to check these things out, rather than mindlessly forwarding them on.
Today I recieved yet another chain email message. I never pass on chain e-mails, as they invariably turn out to be hoaxes. But I usually for my own satisfaction (sad I know) check them out on the net for vereacity.
But todays was different. It was the following message:
Nobody knows who this boy belongs to!
Please send this to all ? we mean all! ? the people in your entire network.
Looking for his family.
The boy about 2 years, from Khoa Lak is missing his parents. Nobody knows what country he comes from. If anyboy knows him please contact us by phone
Followed by a phone number and a photo of the boy.
As usual I was ready to press delete, thinking it a particularly sick hoax, but decided to do a websearch. As it turns out I was right not to pass on the message, but for all the wrong reasons. I found this on the Phuket international hospital website: “We have found this boy’s family already. Thank you everybody for your concern.”
I will be less cynical in future.
I usually dislike circular joke emails (because I’ve seen most of them
ten times before).
Anyway had one this morning (claiming to have originated from Peter Kay) with the following gem:
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Many of you will vaguely remember the story of Amina Lawal, the Nigerian woman who was found guilty of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. Some of you may have read one of the well meaning but erroneous chain-mail messages referring to her execution as scheduled on June 3rd this year, and a petition on a Portugese language Amnesty website.
Well like me, many of you will be surprised to learn that Amana’s situation is still ongoing. For the latest from Amnesty, click here.
In summary contrary to the wording of the chain letter, Amina’s stoning was not set for June: that was the date of her appeal. The latest news is that the appeal has been postponed to a week next Wednesday, 27th August, and any email you receive with an execution dated before then is false and has not come from Amnesty.