Perhaps this is a good time to pass on the following advice about hoaxes in
general from Fred Langa's excellent newsletter (with apologies to more
knowledgeable members).  I have never received an email from a well-meaning
friend or acquaintance warning me about a new internet "danger" that was
not a hoax.

Ed Peay

School of Psychology
Flinders University
GPO Box 2100
Adelaide, South Australia

A good rule of thumb is NEVER to forward any email just because it says
"Urgent: Pass this on to everyone!" or comes from a buddy. In fact, anytime
you get any email with a "pass this on to everyone!" in it, or a letter
that has been forwarded dozens of times, it's almost always (99.99999% of
the time) a hoax or scam designed solely to generate a chain letter--- that
is, to trick the gullible into perpetrating the hoax.

Don't be taken in! It only takes *literally* a minute to find out about if
any email about:
--supposed virus alerts (even if the email says they're "confirmed by IBM,
Microsoft, AOL and Oracle" or some such)
--pending legislation, including email surcharges and taxes
--sick/dying/missing children who need email or prayers
--body part theft rings
--free vacation giveaways
--free money or products from Bill Gates (or Disney or AOL or Nokia or....)
to those who forward the most emails
--foreign government workers who will pay you to let them move large sums
of money through your bank account
--or any of hundreds of similar chain letters.
These are ALL almost always pure, utter hoaxes and scams.

You can make yourself chain-letter-proof by taking literally about a minute
to check up on any claims made in chain letters. There are any number of
resources you can use, including:
Symantec Anti Virus Research Center at
McAfee Associates Virus Hoax List at
Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability at
Debunking online and email hoaxes:
The Urban Legends Web Site at
Urban Legends Reference Pages at
Datafellows Hoax Warnings at

ALWAYS take a few seconds to verify the truth of any chain email like this,
and then tell your friends ONLY if it proves true. Otherwise, you're not
doing your friends any favors, and in fact, you're just helping the hoaxers
to waste people's time and bandwidth.

Additional resources to strengthen your BS detectors:
How To Evaluate Internet Research Sources at
How To Evaluate Information Sources at