I can't recall where I copied this from a long time ago, but it's what I sent to all my newbie relatives when they ask me to "get a free phone from Nokia" or tell me, "Microsoft will pay you $x for every person you forward this to", etc. So... <tip type="Spotting an email hoax" author="Madhu Menon"> Want to spot a hoax? Here's How: * Note whether the text was actually written by the person who sent it to you. If not, be skeptical. * Look for the telltale phrase, 'Forward this to everyone you know.' * Look for statements like 'This is not a hoax' or 'This is not an urban legend.' They usually mean the opposite of what they say. * Look for overly emphatic language, the frequent use of UPPERCASE LETTERS and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!! * If the message seems geared more to persuade than to inform, be suspicious. Hoaxers are out to push emotional buttons. * If the message purports to give you extremely important information that you've never heard of before or seen elsewhere in legitimate sources, be suspicious. * Read carefully and think critically about what the message says, looking for logical inconsistencies, violations of common sense and obviously false claims. * Look for subtle or not-so-subtle jokes, indications that the author is pulling your leg. * Check for references to outside sources. Hoaxes will not typically name any, nor link to Websites with corroborating information. * Check to see if the message has been debunked by Websites that cover Internet hoaxes such as http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/vinfodb.html or http://www.urbanlegends.com. More tips: * Virtually any chain email you receive (i.e., any message forwarded multiple times) is more likely to be false than true. Be skeptical. * Hoaxers usually try every means available to make their lies believable -- e.g., mimicking a journalistic style, attributing the text to a 'legitimate' source, etc. * Be especially wary of health-related rumors. Most importantly, never act on such rumors without first verifying their accuracy with your doctor or other reliable source. </tip> Regards, Madhu <<< * >>> Madhu Menon Head - User Experience Group Trisoft Systems Pvt. Ltd. Global Software Services Work: http://www.trisoft.net Personal: http://madman.weblogs.com (This email is indeed intended for you, so feel free to ignore the disclaimer below) ------------------------DISCLAIMER--------------------------. The contents of this E-mail (including the contents of the enclosure/(s) or attachment/(s) if any) are privileged and confidential material of Trisoft Systems Private Limited and should not be disclosed to, used by or copied in any manner by anyone other than the intended addressee/(s). If this E-mail (including the enclosure/(s) or attachment/(s)if any ) has been received in error, please advise the sender immediately and delete it from your system. The views expressed in this E-mail message (including the enclosure/(s)or attachment/(s) if any) are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of Trisoft Systems Private Limited.