Pst... Pass It On... I Found Out Its a Hoax

When you receive an email telling you about a virus, what do you do with it? Do you send it to everyone in your address book to help them protect themselves too?

A virus warning is probably on its way to your inbox right now, claiming to be from a credible source and warning you of a dangerous virus on the loose. Beware. You might be tricked into taking part in an Internet hoax - chain mail virus alerts.

It is believed that 60% plus of the Virus Warnings in circulation are hoaxes. Further, your anti-virus software may already have a cure for this particular ailment IF it is real.

Even old hoaxes, which have been around for years, can make the rounds again, according to Trend Micro, an anti-virus software company.

'There are a number of new hoaxes because they are so easy to write, you don't need to be a programmer,' the anti-virus company spokesperson said.

What about all of those 'Get Paid to Send Email' schemes? Do you forward them along too, because you do not know if they are true or not, and figure 'why should I take the chance that it is not real?' These 'Get Paid to Send Email' schemes are a fine example of hoaxes that can make the rounds again and again.

There have been at least a dozen incarnations of a 'Get Paid to Send Email' hoax recorded at several of the hoax sites listed in this article. For the complete story, try the search terms 'Bill Gates' or 'Nike' or 'AOL / Microsoft' at any of the Hoax sites.

Let me cut to the chase, no one has the technology to track emails sent through the Internet! No one will ever pay you for sending emails to everyone in your address book! This story is a verified hoax.

Here is a list of Hoax Information Sites that you can check the validity of the warning or the message in your email inbox. You might just be surprised by which items are hoaxes and which are not.

For those people who don't know the tell-tale signs of hoaxes, here's a checklist:

  • IBM/Microsoft/Dell/Gateway have verified this. Does anyone think they care? They don't. If it said Norton, McAfee or any other antivirus vendor I might listen. If a virus killed your computer or software the above companies would be delighted because you'd have to buy more computers, and they would be delighted to sell you one.

  • Even if the email proclaims that one of the virus companies is verifying this virus, where is the link to the virus companies website, detailing the important information concerning this particular strain of virus?

  • Published on CNN. Again, where is the link? Could you find it yourself?

  • You'll never be able to use your computer again. Hogwash. If you got a virus the very worst case is that you'd have to format it and reinstall everything. And that's extremely rare anyway. No virus will harm your computer, only the software on it.

  • This virus damages/destroys Windows and McIntosh systems. More hogwash. These are two very different operating systems with very different ways of executing software.

  • Don't even open it! Yea right. 99.9% of virii are carried in attachments to emails not in the emails themselves. Use a bit of common sense and don't open any unexpected attachments from strange sources. And if you keep your AV software up to date, you're most often covered anyway. (The only email software not safe from some types of viruses are Outlook, Outlook Express, and Netscape 6. Users of Outlook and Outlook Express can visit http://Microsoft.com for the patch to protect these email programs from imbedded vb-script viruses. Netscape 6 users can guarantee their own protection by turning off the JavaScripting feature inside of their Preferences.)

  • Forward to all your friends. Now we're down to the crutch of it. This email IS the virus - a social one. Look at the facts. It gets sent to all your friends. It infects peoples inboxes and causes panic. Sounds like a virus to me. It doesn't actually do any harm like most virii but is a waste of your time.

  • Verify these things yourself before forwarding them. To simplify the task of verification, there is a new freeware application on the market designed to help you do just that. It is called 'Quick Swords V' and it has been developed for you by a new company called InternetMusketeers.com. The 'V' stands for 'Virus'.

    Here is an overview of how the software works: 'Simply type in your Search Terms, then click on the Virus / Hoax Information Searches drop down list, and then select your choice for expert guidance on the subject of Viruses and Hoaxes. With Quick Swords V, we can help take the guesswork out of your decision making process. We are giving you direct access to the nearly immediate search results of 16 Virus / Hoax sites on the Internet.'

    Quick Swords V (virus) ships as Freeware, so you have no excuse not to verify the Virus information before sending it to everyone in your address book anymore. It only takes a minute to verify the latest juicy warning in your email box. I know your mouse finger is itching to click Forward, but your friends will Thank You for verifying this information before hitting Send!

    Instead, click here: http://InternetMusketeers.com/apps/QuickSwords

    I would like to thank the following people for assisting me in the gathering of the information presented in this article:


  • How Spammers Fool Bayesian Filters - And How to Stop Them

    Effectively stopping spam over the long-term requires much more than... Read More

    Internet Theft and Fraud

    My friends in the web hosting business have recently informed... Read More

    Block Spam with An Easy Behavioral Change

    E-mails now have a connection back to their servers. I... Read More

    I Love Spam!

    What's the big deal? All you read on the internet... Read More

    How To Stop Spam

    I imagine you have seen, heard about, or already know... Read More

    Is Email Dying?

    2004 was really a year when the whole subject of... Read More

    Evict the Spammers from Your Inbox

    Block Spam and Other Email Threats From Entering Your Gateway... Read More

    The Fastest Delete Finger in the Midwest!

    There are hundreds of thousands of people who are trying... Read More

    Invasion of the Email Snatchers

    They're sneaky. And stealthy. They're quiet and mostly unobtrusive, but... Read More

    How to Write a Privacy Policy

    A Privacy Policy can be defined as the policy under... Read More

    Spammer Stole My Email Address?

    Do you get bounced, or rejected emails sent by someone... Read More

    The Definition of Spam

    Spam can bring down your website faster than a speeding... Read More

    Why Your ISP Takes Bribes From Spammers

    The lifeblood of the spammer is email. They need to... Read More

    Dont Give the Spammers Your Address From Your Page

    Spammers get email addresses from web pages using programs called... Read More

    How to Protect Your Email ID from Spammers?

    You must be one of them experiencing a lot of... Read More

    Spam The Spammer - Will It Work?

    Spam is everywhere. It's the "in-box lunch meat" nobody likes,... Read More

    Eight Quick Tips For Stopping SPAM

    If you are buried in SPAM then you're not alone.... Read More

    Block Ads, Defeat Pop-Ups, and STOP Page Hijacking

    You're not alone!Who hasn't surfed the web looking for information... Read More

    Is There A National Do Not Spam List?

    You may have already received a do not spam list... Read More

    Stuffing the Spammers!

    I'm really, truly fed up with spam. Every day when... Read More

    Spam: The Tasteless Internet Meat of Criminals

    Spam. You've all heard of the crazy pink meat in... Read More

    Do You Know Whats in Your Trash?

    A hearty welcome to all the spam fighting filters and... Read More

    Dealing With SPAM - An E-mail Address Strategy

    With SPAM being such a problem it might seem the... Read More

    Are You A Spam Zombie?

    Over the past few years you've all become familiar with... Read More

    Spamicide: Man Spammed to Death While Checking His E-mail

    Death by spam is now possible with a new device... Read More