Hoaxes, urban legends, viruses, scams¬†. . .
. . .¬† what is true and what is false?
When you receive an email 'story' from someone, do you stop and check if the item is genuine - or if it is¬†a hoax or an 'urban legend'?
Find out before you send on that email or virus warning!
This page provides links to sites where you you can find out if that email is TRUE!
A lot of time is WASTED - and false information is spread when people just forward on all the emails they receive!
In fact, for the Christian, spreading false information is¬†'bearing false witness' - and sometimes just another form of gossip!
As Christians we need to be truthful! When people get false information from Christians, they are not impressed and our witness is adversely affected.
PLEASE DON"T pass along hoaxes and false urban legends!
As Truth Miners say "Many well-meaning people forward these type of messages on a daily basis without a second thought.¬† So, what's wrong with that?¬† Plenty. First, it bears false witness against real people, companies and organizations.¬† Second, these people, companies and organizations may be directly harmed by these hoaxes.¬† If you don't believe that, please read the article called "What's The Harm?"
"Some people might still say, "oh, but this is just a small thing."¬† Most of these "small" lies can actually hurt real people, real companies, or real organizations and bear "false witness."¬† Even if it doesn't hurt any person or company, our God is not the author of lies of any sort, so we should not be involved in them.¬† The first lie ever told had a bit of truth behind it, but even that truth was skewed into sounding like something that it was not.¬† As servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, we simply have no business with a lie of any kind."
PLEASE check any email¬†FIRST before forwarding!
A number of sites on the internet enable you to check out whether that latest email you received is true or not (if it is an 'urban legend' or hoax), information on the latest internet 'scams' and whether that 'computer virus' notice you received is a genuine threat.
The following sections provide information on each type:
Hoaxes and Urban Legends
Hoaxes and urban legends often gain a life of their own. Sometimes they change as the political climate changes - so an email referring to John Howard might be re-written as one about Kevin Rudd and be circulated again.
How do I check if it is true?
You have a couple of options:
- Go to a website that specialises in these matters.
- Snopes - information on the major hoaxes and urban legends.
- Hoax Slayer - another site with info on hoaxes.
- Truth or Fiction - a similar site run by a Christian. Has information on hoaxes relating to Christianity and faith.
- Truth Miners- a site for Christians - helping you find the TRUTH and not circulate FALSE rumours and emails...
- "Google it".
- Copy a line of text out of the email.
- Go to a search engine such as Google¬†and paste the text. Put double quotation marks around the selected text and click on 'Search'.
- This usually gives a range of results (sometimes from the ones listed in No 1 above - as well as from other 'hoax' information sites.
Have you checked to see if the latest warning about a computer virus is for real?
Find out BEFORE you send it on to others!
These sites give the latest updates on computer viruses, telling you whether they are a hoax or are real!
- McAfee¬†- the Virus Information Library at McAfee contains information on the latest viruses, the Top 10 viruses and a searchable library of viruses.
- Symantec¬†- this Symantec site lists hoax computer viruses (makers of Norton Anti-virus)
Internet and Email 'Scams'
Do you know whether that email you received is a scam? (Wanting to get money out of you!)
Here are one way of checking...
This company provides reports of the latest internet/email scams. They also offer a FREE monthly update on scams and urban legends so you won't get taken in by them.
A few years back, the Nigerian fraud emailswere common - One purported to be from a Lawyer at the High Court relating to the death and will of a Pastor Polycarp Ekeocha who had apparently left us lots of money!
This was a scam - they really wanted to get us to pay money in fees etc and to provide bank account details.
Click here¬†to read about it on ScamBusters.
Again, copying a line of text and checking online will often provide information as well.