Internet Hoaxes – Nothing is Free

The next time someone sends you one of those “forward this to all your friends and get something free” messages, you might want to send them the following message in return: “Thank you for forwarding me the most recent “send this email to all of your friends and something great will happen” story. Unfortunately, the story you sent me is yet another in a long string of internet hoaxes.”

There is an entire family of urban legends.
No one is going to give you anything for simply forwarding an email to all your friends!

I don’t care what you might have heard from other people. You cannot get something for nothing, and you certainly can’t get something for simply forwarding an email to all of your friends.

With that said, you’d be surprised at how many people still believe that these silly “forward an email to all of your friends and something great will happen” hoaxes are true. What follows is the truth about many of the email forwarding:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch is NOT going to give you a free gift certificate for forwarding an email message to all of your friends.
  • The newly merged AOL and Microsoft is NOT going to give you money for forwarding an email message to all of your friends. Plus, Microsoft and AOL NOT merged — US antitrust laws would prohibit such a merger.
  • Bath & Body Works is NOT going to give you a free gift certificate for forwarding an email message to all of your friends.
  • The Coca-Cola company is NOT going to give you free coke for a month in return for you forwarding an email message to all of your friends.
  • Some unnamed billionaire is NOT going to make a donation to a dying child in return for your forwarding an email message to all of your friends.
  • Some cancer or disease society is NOT going to make a donation to a dying child in return for your forwarding an email message to all of your friends.

What should you do if you receive an “email forwarding” message? Delete it. Regardless of how the message is written, it is still a hoax. And, unfortunately, one of the prices of internet citizenship is vigilance — you have to be constantly watching for old hoaxes and urban legends masquerading as new ones.

One way to keep up with Net hoaxes and urban legends, especially the myriad of email forwarding hoaxes, is to bookmark and frequently visit websites like these:

The other way to keep up with Internet Hoaxes and Urban Legends is to start looking for patterns in these hoaxes. All email virus warning hoaxes follow the same pattern.

Train yourself to recognize these patterns and you will become a valuable internet asset, able to protect yourself from future hoaxes.

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