Friday, January 11, 2008

Hoaxes


Carrie debunks the latest round of hoaxes circulating on the 'net.
These are accurate, as I have verified them through several sources.

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Latest Hoax
• WILL YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER BE RELEASED TO TELEMARKETERS IN A FEW DAYS?
NO! An e-mail says telemarketers will be getting your cell phone number in 4 days, 6 days, whatever. It's NOT true. It's illegal to make a telemarketing call to a cell phone. And cell carriers are NOT giving them to marketers.

Additional Hoaxes
• WILL ENTERING YOUR ATM "PIN" NUMBER BACKWARDS CALL POLICE?
No. Entering your PIN backwards at an ATM while you're being robbed will only make the robber more angry and likely to do something to you. A backwards PIN number will NOT summon help. A dangerous email hoax to pass along.

• WILL DIALING *77 (OR *677 OR #677) ON YOUR CELL PHONE CALL POLICE?
No. This is another dangerous email hoax that could lead to someone getting hurt of killed. If you need help on the side of the road, dial 911. That's why 911 was invented!

• WILL YOUR CELL PHONE REALLY DO A BUNCH OF AMAZING THINGS?
No. Ignore that list of "cool things" your cell phone will do. It does not have a secret code to give a low battery more juice, it will not open up locked car doors, and dialing "211" will not call for help in the USA . The only true item in the list is "Free 411."

• IS YOUR CREDIT INFO GOING PUBLIC?
Millions of people are receiving an e-mail alerting them that the credit bureaus will be releasing their personal credit files, to anyone who asks, very soon. There is no truth to this e-mail. Your credit file will remain available only to authorized lenders, as it always has been. There is no new need to be concerned about your private information becoming public.

• IS A LITTLE GIRL DYING OF CANCER?
Sure, unfortunately, some children are, but not the girl in the e-mail (or the girl with the bow in the photo, if the message includes a picture). Passing on this e-mail will simply clog up people's computers with a worthless hoax. No agency will send money for every e-mail passed along.

• IS A LITTLE GIRL MISSING FROM A WAL-MART STORE?
No she's not. The last I heard, this missing girl (Usually named Penny Brown ) was about 45 years old and alive and well. She might even be a grandmother by now. Most missing child e-mails are long out of date, even if they were once legitimate.

• DID PEPSI REMOVE THE WORDS "UNDER GOD" FROM THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ON THEIR CANS?
No. In fact, Pepsi has never even printed the Pledge on its cans. Pepsi is an innocent victim of this hoax.

• ARE TARGET STORES ANTI-VETERAN?
No, they're not. But an e-mail urges you to boycott Target, because they won't support Vietnam Vet displays. This is untrue. The e-mail is the result of a misunderstanding between one man and one Target manager. Target stores give thousands of dollars to veterans groups, and should not be boycotted.

• DOES STARBUCKS HATE OUR TROOPS?
No. Starbucks never said it won't send free coffee to our troops because it doesn't support our Iraq efforts. Another company that should not be boycotted due to an email.

• DOES A CERTAIN BRAND OF TAMPON CONTAIN ASBESTOS FIBERS?
No. This new e-mail warning is actually a recycled 20 year old warning, about some tampons in the 1980's that were linked with "toxic shock." No brand of Tampons contains asbestos fibers.

• DOES YOUR COMPUTER CONTAIN A DANGEROUS "TEDDY BEAR" VIRUS THAT YOU NEED TO DELETE?
No, but many computer owners are falling for this one, and deleting an important file in their computer's operating system. Watch for an e-mail warning you about a "Teddy Bear" virus: it tells you to look in your computer's files for a certain file (jdbgmgr.exe), and then instructs you how to delete it. But the file is not a virus at all...you've simply become the victim of an elaborate hoax.

• HAVE SEVEN WOMEN DIED AFTER TERRORISTS MAILED THEM POISON PERFUME?
No, there have been no deaths and no perfume samples either. Nor are terrorists forcing people to sniff poison perfume in mall parking lots. (Though I've passed some people wearing so much fragrance, I have felt personally assaulted!)

• DID TERRORISTS BUY HUNDREDS OF UPS UNIFORMS?
No, there's no need to fear your local UPS delivery man or woman. There's no truth to an e-mail claiming that $32,000 worth of brown UPS uniforms are missing, and probably in the hands of terrorists.

• WILL BILL GATES, AOL, APPLEBEES, CRACKER BARREL OR ANYONE ELSE GIVE YOU A GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR PASSING ON AN E-MAIL?
First day on the Internet? If you believe any of these messages, you need to get a life, or at least go back to Computing 101. No one will pay you for passing on e-mail. Ever.

• CAN SOMEONE FIND YOUR HOME ADDRESS BY TYPING YOUR PHONE NUMBER INTO A "GOOGLE" SEARCH ENGINE?
Yes. This one is true!

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