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Email Hoaxes
This particularly nasty virus will infect your computer and not allow you to send out any emails that contain grammatical or spelling mistakes. The scary thing is imagining that someone would receive this and not recognize it as a joke.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu May 13, 2004
Comments (2)
image Teresa wrote in to ask about the truth of that email rumor going around alleging that the Swiffer Wet Jet cleaning fluid contains antifreeze and can be fatal to pets (you can read the full text of that email rumor here). Swiffer itself addresses this rumor on its corporate website, so it can be pretty easily debunked. It's totally false. But since I'm on the subject of Swiffers, I've got to note something about them that I find incredibly annoying... how you can only use Swiffer brand cleaning fluid with the Wet Jet. And, of course, the Swiffer brand fluid ain't cheap. Out of frustration, I ended up carving a hole in the top of the Swiffer brand bottle and pouring generic cleaning fluid into it, but that didn't work well at all since the fluid kept splashing up out of the bottle whenever I moved it too vigorously. So yes, Swiffer may be innocent of killing pets, but in my books they're still guilty of selling overpriced cleaning fluid. Yeah, I could stop using the Wet Jet entirely, but I don't want to do that because I like how the Wet Jet works. I just don't like being forced to buy only Swiffer brand fluid to use in it. (Sorry about the rant).
Categories: Animals, Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Mon May 10, 2004
Comments (124)
Ella Schultz, an elderly black woman living in Kentwood, Michigan, is quite the emailer. Over the past year she's been shooting off emails to teachers, school administrators, and even a few journalists. But it turns out that Ella isn't actually real. The person actually sending those emails was Edward Kape, a Kentwood Board of Education member (who has now resigned). Or at least, he was one of the people using 'Ella Schultz' as their nom de plume. He insists there were others, though he's not naming any names. The tip off for those receiving the emails should have been that they came from Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. Whenever I receive an email from someone I don't know who's using a Yahoo or Hotmail account, my b-s detector immediately starts to go off.
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Mon Apr 26, 2004
Comments (5)
The Register has posted a great Nigerian Bank Scam email that it received. I get these emails all the time, and typically they come from people claiming to be either relatives of (or bankers of) deposed third world leaders who have huge amounts of money trapped in a bank account somewhere. They need your help to move the money out of the country. But this email that the Register received claims to come from a relative of a Nigerian astronaut trapped in space. He has a huge amount of back-pay accrued, and just needs your help to access the cash in order to get home. Very inventive. I wonder if the author of the letter actually expected to snare any victims with this, or just did it as a joke.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Sun Apr 18, 2004
Comments (0)
My wife received this note in an email at work. Sadly, even though it's a joke, the advice it offers seems quite sensible:
New Retirement Plan: If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With Enron, you would have $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00. With WorldCom, you would have less than $5.00 left. But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of Beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling price, you would have $214.00. Based on the above, current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. It's called the 401-Keg Plan.
Categories: Business/Finance, Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 14, 2004
Comments (2)
Google has announced a new email service called Gmail, that will give each user one gigabyte of free storage. Strangely, the press release is dated April 1, leading many to speculate that it's an April Fool's Day joke. Maybe it is, but if so it would seem a very odd one. Usually April Fool's Day jokes involve a certain minimum level of wit, and you should feel foolish for believing them once you find out they're a joke. But if someone were to tell me that Gmail is a joke, I wouldn't feel foolish. I'd just feel like Google had lied. There is some goofy language in the press release, but otherwise it just doesn't seem over-the-top enough to be a joke. But time will tell.
Categories: April Fools Day, Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Comments (11)
Makers of network security software are warning that there may be an increase in spam leading up to April Fool's Day. "Spammers are expected to use subject lines such as "great joke," "free jokes," "prank," or "April fools" to entice users into opening attachments that carry viruses or objectionable content, potentially putting company networks at risk."
Categories: April Fools Day, Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 30, 2004
Comments (0)
This is just dumb. You receive an email with the following message: Greetings, You have just received the "IRISH VIRUS". As we don't have any programming experience, this Virus works on the honour system. Please delete all the files on your hard drive manually and forward this Virus to everyone on your mailing list. Thank you for your cooperation.
I think I've seen other versions of it that attribute it to other ethnicities/social groups. There's more info about it over at symantec.com. (submitted by Bob Pagani).
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Sat Feb 21, 2004
Comments (5)
A study reported on in the New Scientist has found that people lie more when they're talking on the telephone than they do when writing emails. The reason is that people are conscious of the fact that emails are saved and could come back to haunt them later, whereas telephone conversations don't tend to be recorded. Of course, this doesn't mean that more of the telephone calls we receive contain lies than the emails we receive. Just the opposite. Every day I'm flooded with emails that contain blatant lies, promising me instant riches and vast improvements in my physical prowess. This is because a small number of liars (spammers) can easily contact millions of people via email, whereas reaching the same number of people via telephone would be incredibly hard (though telemarketers give it their best shot).
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Sat Feb 14, 2004
Comments (0)
During the past week many people received an email apparently from the Bank of England. It read: "Dear customer. The security of your personal and account information is extremely important to us. By practising good security habits, you can help us ensure that your private information is protected. Please install our special software that will remove all the keyloggers and backdoors from your computer." The email, of course, was a hoax. Thankfully, those who went ahead and installed the attached file suffered no harm because the file appears to do nothing. The media have been calling this an example of a phishing scam (phishing being a scam in which spammers try to fool people into divulging personal info such as credit card numbers), but I don't think it was a phishing scam because I can't see where or how any personal info was being collected. To me it looks like it was just junk, pure and simple.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 01, 2004
Comments (0)
Just when we had all gotten used to those Nigerian email scams that fill up our inboxes every day, the Nigerian criminal class has gone back to the drawing board and come up with an entirely new way to con people out of money: it's the Nigerian Navy Recruitment Scam. Nigerian fraud artists are circulating fake documents that appear to be recruitment forms for the Nigerian Navy. I'm at a loss to see how exactly they make money out of this, but I'm sure they have a way. Meanwhile, the real Nigerian navy has announced that it will begin circulating real recruitment forms sometime this month.
Categories: Con Artists, Email Hoaxes, Military
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 08, 2003
Comments (47)
John Walkenbach points out on his weblog that the Third Annual Nigerian Email Conference begins tomorrow in Abuja. I'm bummed that I can't make it.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 06, 2003
Comments (1)
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