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Letters to the Editor


There are many warnings and chain letters circulating the World Wide Web.

The first part is a brief description, in numerical order. The second part is a copy of one of the "notices" as it appeared over the Internet. Click on the highlighted introduction to see the original.

(1) Pen Pal Greeting or Join the Crew - You cannot get a virus from reading e-mail. You can get a virus from downloading an executable file, such as one with a .exe or .dll at the end of its title. DON’T download any file with any executable nature, unless you know who it is from. This virus warning, Pen Pal Greeting or Join the Crew, is a hoax.  However, if you do not have a patch for e-mail address for Netscape or Explorer in Windows (not Apple), a virus can enter your system. Netscape 4.06 and Explorer 4.05 (current versions) do not need the patch as the up-grade includes it.

(2) The Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe - Boy, you are really gullible if you believe this one. It has been floating around the internet for over five years, maybe longer, but I saw it five years ago. I also confirmed directly that is bogus. The department store never had a cookie recipe, no one was charged $250 in error, and Visa may make mistakes, but this isn’t one of them.

(3) Girl with Cancer - A real tear jerker, but it isn’t true. There is no Jessica Mydek. There is no Jean Ann Linney. The telephone and fax numbers are inoperable. There have been so many inquiries the American Cancer Society has made this statement:

Fraudulent Jessica Mydek Chain Letter: This statement may be copied or reprinted by online users The American Cancer Society is greatly disturbed by reports of a fraudulent chain letter ....

(4) This $1,000 Microsoft is one of the longest hoaxes I have seen. It is being sent with comments, those that tried it, a list of people who are participating on some of them Bill Gates is not going to give you $1000 and a free copy of Windows 98 to "test it." Give me a break!!

(5) Clinton is going to resign. This was another hot one going around during the Denver Bronco-Green Bay Superbowl. A lot of people evidently believed it.

(6) Mr. Grosky and Neil Armstrong. A great story, a great joke, but not true at all. This one has been floating around so long people are starting to believe it is true. It is not true.

(7) One of the many chain letters on the internet. Most call for $1.00, $5,00, or more. They are illegal through the US Mail, by the way. However, the Internet is free so these are really making the rounds. And the longer the explanation, the stronger the "hook" that you believe this. Get a life!!!!

(8) The FCC is going to raise the local internet rates!!!!! Hey, you pay now. You get so many free minutes a month, then you pay anywhere from three cents to five cents a minute for each additional minute, depending on where you live and who your telephone carrier is.

This is the one I received. I tried to reach Mr. Schwartz, but the "log in" was busy every time I tried. I don’t know if he is for real or thinks this is real news. I also tried the other e-mail address for several days and the "log in" was also busy. You already pay for extended use of local telephone calls. And it sure is a lot cheaper than Long Distance.

(9) 90# Turns your telephone over to someone else. This is a hoax, verified by AT&T, Pacific Bell, among others. 90# does not allow someone to make charges to your telephone.

(10) Chain Letter promotion. The longer it is, the more it must be believable?????

(11) "I bet you didn't know this." Some of the best hoaxes are sent around as if they are giving you the "real truth". Don’t be fooled, most of it is a practical joke or just plain "mis-information".

(12) Here are some web sites that update the information on virus scares and hoaxes.
Virus Myths and Hoaxes (no Spam, no advertisements). This site has the latest virus scares and hoaxes making the rounds.

"Risky Business"
To learn about virus problems you may run into, or protect your business, you may want to read "Risky Business." Please go to our "Books" recommendation page: recommendations-books

AntiOnline’s virus collection

If you want to download and study a virus, here are over 600 of the most common, rendered harmless, of course. This may help you diagnosis your virus problem by showing you exactly what happens.

Defines computer viruses, worms, and Trojan Horses with a very good Frequently Asked Question section.

The Anti-Virus Product Developers (AVPD) Consortium

Great information on virus hoaxes, along with links to anti-virus developers; dedicated to industry standards, product testing, product certification, and market research. Has a very thorough collection, archive, on viruses in the world.

(13) Chain Letters"The Netherlands." I hate them. I don’t send them out. I haven’t died recently, and Sue hasn’t left me, and Lady Luck keeps smiling on me. Please don’t send me a chain letter.

(14) Budweiser Frog
This has been floating around in various versions. Here are three versions. There are many others and to see them all and learn more about hoaxes and myths, go to:

(15) Buddy List
This is an oldie but a goodie. It has been around as long as the Internet started in 1956. Jerry Hitchcock of GTE recommends this IBM web site because it lists the hoaxes by dates they are active on the World Wide Web.

(16) Disneyland
This is a classic. There are several spins offs. I can’t tell you how many people have sent this to me, in various versions, all with a reward from Bill Gates (as if Bill Gates wants to give you $5,000, come on!!!).

(17) President Clinton is a Murderer
This is not a joke. It is being sent around more and more, and the more it is sent around, the more credible it becomes. The more this makes the rounds, the more people believe it is "true."

(18) The Gullibility Virus
Send this to a friend who sent you one of the above.

(19) How Stanford Started
This one has been really circulating, making the rounds. It seems everyone who sends it to me believes it is true. It is another hoax.

(20) Y2K " World is Coming to an End" Hoax
This is a serious problem, but you don’t need to buy weapons, take your money out of the bank, and stockpile gold.

(21) Craig Sheford Hoax
This was actually received by snail mail. A client of a major computer company requested this be sent not only by e-mail, but U.S.Mail. So they did. They mailed the letter to all their clients to send their business cards so the dying boy could get into the Guinness Book of Records. There never was a Craig Sheford. Don’t be fooled if it is another name, it is the same chain letter hoax.

(22) E-Mail Correction
Wrong. This is a method to confirm your e-mail address as accurate, so the Spam Broker can sell it to others as "confirmed." You add your name, rather than "remove" it.

(23) THIS IS IMPORTANT Chain Letter - Not!!!!

(24) Happy Exe—MSNBC News Article - It does not work unless you download and and run the attachment.

Another hoax, this one given creditability by an NBC newsman (do you believe everything a newsman reads to you---I hope not).

(25) "Nutra Sweet" gives you cancer

I guess this is how Fluoride got a bad name. Read the response from the Council for the Blind.

(26) Melissa --- The virus is real. But there are also thousands of other real viruses. They are sent as attachments and must be downloaded and executed to work and infect.

(27) Christine Schmidt - Missing Child. I confirmed with the police department that the girl was found ( July 11, 1997 ) one day after she was lost . This has been circulating for almost two years. The police would really be delighted if this were no longer being circulating. I recived this on March 25, 1999 with more than five hundred e-mail address before this message.

Before you pass on anything on the Internet, please verify it. Especially if it is almost two years old.

(28) Needle in Movie Theater Chair - This has been around as long as I can remember. While it sounds plausiable, it is a made up even.

(29) Sex - They want you to respond to the unsolicited e-mail so they can sell your e-mail address to other "spammers".

(30) Remove - A more direct manner, but the purpose is to verify your e-mail address as being "active".

(31) Flemming Save Churchill - Another made up story that if it circulates enough, people will believe it is real. It is not.

(32) Elf Bowl - A very popular Christmas game making the rounds. It does not contain a virus that pops up at Christmas. It is a very good game. Don't be afraid of it. Send the person who sent you the hoax a piece of coal for Christmas.

(33) Long Distance E-mail Charge - Congress is not going to tax long distance calls on the Internet. They are even afraid of charging sales tax. There is a hoax floating around the internet that Congress is going to allow internet companies to charge long distance calls for e-mail. Congress is doing the opposite of this.

(34) Bad Bananas WARNING! - Another message that it can become an "Urban Legend" that you can all regard as "Spam"

(35) To my friends, lets share the wealth
Money Off-Seas Scam.

(36) The Man Who Had No Face was the actor ... - Here is one that is making the rounds, and I can't believe how many people are passing this on as if it was true.

(37) Can see you thrugh your monitor - Oh! No!!!

(38) Fred Waring Birthday---He did not invent the Waring Blender

(39) Kent County Budweiser Hoax---They take all the Bud from the store celebrating the bombing of the two Twin Tower Buildings in New York City.  This is a “hate hoax”

(40) Microsoft will pay you $156.29. plus $156.29 plus  $17.65---If you believe Bill Gates will send you money, then read this one.

(41)  The Story of Taps, according to the Internet

(42)How to get the Computer to Ignore Your Vehicle Violation---Not!!!---A message from a friend...If you get a ticket!

(43) US Railway Gauge/Roman Horse Cart Hoax. US Railroad standard gauge size matches Roman wheel carts because English expatriates build US Railroads and they based theirs on the Roman cart road size....come on, you don't believe this one, do you?

(44) Ollie North names Osma Bin Lindin, and the US Senator interviewing him was Al Gore. No way!!! Here is the hoax and the truth.

(45) Space Shuttle as Wide as two horse' behinds.

(46)Nigerian e-mail Advance Fee Fraud. We have a collection of over 50 different Nigerian e-mails. Originally they came by "snail mail," but with the aid of the internet, they now buy lists and you may have seen one of them. Odds are you have seen more than one.

If you would like a free virus scan of your computer, please go to:
Here is a free Virus Check - "Home call" Click on the icon...follow the directions for your workstation. Don't forget, you can avoid viruses by not downloading or opening up attachments from your friends, unless you know who sent it and you know its clean plus you run an anti-virus program, and most important: Keep It Current.

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