Issue 45 - Hoax-Slayer Newsletter
Issue 45: 18th November, 2004
This month in Hoax-Slayer:
Hoax-Slayer Newsletter is Going Monthly
After a lot of thought, I have decided to publish the Hoax-Slayer
Newsletter on a monthly rather than a weekly basis. This new
delivery schedule will allow me more time to add new material to
the Hoax-Slayer website as well as prepare articles for the
Although editions of the newsletter will not be so frequent,
monthly issues will contain a signficantly greater number of
Between issues, you can easily keep yourself informed about new
hoaxes and scams by visiting the Hoax-Slayer Latest Information
Currently, the Hoax-Slayer website is undergoing a
significant overhaul and I will also be adding a lot of new
pages. Thus, any time saved because of the newsletter schedule
change will be put to good use (grin).
So, the next issue of the Newsletter should cross your inbox in
mid December, not too long before the bloke in the red suit turns
Best wishes, and thank-you for your continued support of
Long Island Terror Email Hoax
An email has been circulating that claims that a terrorist attack
on Long Island will occur on the 26th November, supposedly
involving chemical weapons. However, there is no evidence to
support the claims made in the email and authorities have
dismissed it as a hoax.
It is believed that the information in the email was derived from
an anti-terrorist training exercise conducted by the volunteer
ambulance corps and law enforcement agencies. The drill involved
a scenario in which malls were attacked with chemical weapons.
The email claims that police apprehended a "man of Middle Eastern
descent" for taking photographs of an ambulance company. However,
police have denied that such an arrest occurred.
Although the original email may
have been sent as a result
of a genuine misunderstanding, or as a sick joke, it is most
likely just an attempt to spread fear and alarm. Since the WTC
attack, there have been several false terrorist attack "warnings"
circulated via email. In a world plagued by the spectre of
terrorism, perpetrating a hoax like this one is particularly
This email should be deleted rather than forwarded.
I am sending this email to the Red Cross to inquire. Nonetheless,
please read it and try and shop around Nov. 26, not THE 26th.
Her email is not a "forward to 10 people" It is personally
written and personally sent to her friends based on facts she
is personally aware of.
Discuss This Story
Some information has come to me. It has not been released to
the general public, but it's something we all need to be aware
A couple of weeks ago someone was seen taking photos of my
ambulance company in Bay Shore. This same person was seen
outside Exchange Ambulance in Islip doing the same. The
police were notified and the person was apprehended outside
Southside hospital, again taking photos.
He is a man of Middle Eastern descent and is being held for
investigation. It seems that he was gathering information
about our response capabilities in a mass casualty attack.
The NY Field Office of the FBI held a meeting at Bay Shore
Fire Department for officials from the local PD, EMS and
FD's. They have information from this man and from their
own intelligence that a mass attack is planned for Long
On Black Friday (November 26) 4 Long Island Malls are
supposed to be hit simultaneously with chemical weapons.
This would be the first time a chemical weapon is used in
the United States. Forces from NYC and Washington DC would
be diverted to aid here on Long Island leaving these areas
vulnerable. A second attack would take place in these areas.
Ever since 9/11 EMS has undergone extensive training on how
to deal with a terrorist attack and to think it could really
happen here is terrifying.
There is also concern about car bombings as a large number
of vehicles have gone missing in Nassau and Suffolk
counties. Ambulances, taxi's,commercial vans and airport
limos have been reported stolen. These vehicles look
perfectly innocent driving through our neighborhoods and
no one would think twice about seeing them.
This is not an internet scam. The officers at my department
were at this meeting and I saw the minutes myself. I figure
it's pretty serious if the FBI made an appearance to share
what they know.
I'm not sure why this isn't being released to the public.
I can only assume that if this got out, no one would shop
and it would be devastating to our economy.
I do not want to spread panic, only information. Take from
this what you will, but I needed to let you all know. I love
you all and I felt I needed to share this with you. I know
it's hard to believe. I can't believe that an Al Qaeda
operative was only a few blocks from my home.
Cheque Scam Targets Internet Sellers
I regularly received submissions regarding a widespread cheque
scam that targets Internet sellers. Those targeted are usually
attempting to sell fairly high priced items such as cars, boats,
computer equipment or even animals via the Internet.
The central element of this fraud is the submission of a cheque
for substantially more than the listed price. Typically, an
overpayment cheque scam works like this:
- A seller places an Internet advertisement for a car or other
item with a high price tag.
- The seller later receives a generous offer for the item,
usually via an email.
- The seller agrees on the price.
- The scammer then sends a cheque for the item. However, the
cheque is for substantially more than the specified amount.
- The scammer invents some excuse for this overpayment and asks
that the balance be transferred to a specified bank
account. For example, he or she may claim that the extra funds
are to pay the fees of an agent who is handling the sale or to
cover shipping costs.
- The seller transfers the amount out of his or her own
- Later, the seller finds that his or her bank has dishonoured
the cheque. In some cases, the bank may actually have cleared
the funds, but discovers later that the check is a forgery or was
- Thus the seller has been bilked out of a substantial amount,
with little chance of recovering the money
To protect yourself against this sort of scam, *never* agree to a
deal in which the payer wishes to issue an amount for more than
the agreed price and expects you to reimburse the balance. The
scammers use a variety of excuses to explain the overpayment, but
any such excuse should be treated with the utmost suspicion.
The examples below should help to illustrate how these scammers
thanks for the quick response am okay with price,and because am
far away from united states so don't worry about the shipment i
have shipping agent that carter for my pick up any where in the
world. i will instruct my client to send you a cashier's cheque
of (5000) so what you have to do immediatley the check gets to
you just deduct the funds for the puppies($500) and send the
excess money ($4500) to my shipping agent so that they can be
able to pick the puppies up from your destination and which
will also covers the shipping fees of my other consignments
in the state. so if this is okay by you, you can forward your
full name, address and cell phone number. expecting your
Thanks for your mail,I am really interested in the (plymouth),Fine
i will pay $200 for it,Please i will want to indicate my mode of
payment to you since i am not in the United States at the moment and
there is a Company in the United States that is indebted to me in the
amount of $3,500,So i will want to really seek your Assistance at
this point,That i will want you to forward to me the the following
informations below that i will need to forward to the Company
indebted to me so that they can make out the payment directly to you
and after you have cashed it in your bank,You will have the excess
amount on the payment sent to my International Shipping agent via
WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER ,All charges you are to pay at the
western union office when sending the excess amount of $3,300 should
be deducted from my balance,So you don't have to bother yourself
about that, The reason for this is that,The Company indebted to me
say they cannot make out the payment in two installment except once,
And since i am purchasing your (plymouth) from you
at this time,I will want to really be sure that my funds will be safe
in your hands as i will want to entrust my money unto your care,So
inorder for us to complete the purchase of the (plymouth) now,I
will want you to get back to me with the following informations
inorder for me to forward it to the Company indebted to me inorder
for them to make out the payment in your name and send it to you
ithout any furtherdelay,
Discuss This Story
The following informations that i will require from you are as
1] YOUR FULL NAME TO BE WRITTEN ON THE CHECK,
2] YOUR DIRECT HOUSE ADDRESS WHERE YOU WILL WANT THE PAYMENT TO BE
3] YOUR DIRECT CELL PHONE NUMBER THAT YOU CAN BE REACHED AT ANYTIME
OF THE DAY SO THAT I CAN GIVE YOU A CALL SO THAT I CAN EXPLAIN TO YOU
Upon receipt of this informations i have just requested from you,I
will immediately forward it to the Company indebted to me to make out
the payment in your name and send it to you immediately,I will be
awaiting your response as soon as you get this mail,Do confirm this
get back to me as soon as possible.
New Virus Information Page
In view of the newsletter delivery change, I have discontinued
the "Weekly Virus Wrap-up" section in favour of a more
comprehensive Virus Information page on the Hoax-Slayer website
that will be available to you 24/7. This page should be a more
effective method of keeping readers and site visitors informed
about current virus threats. The page includes live feeds from
Symantec Security Response that are updated in real time as well
as other pertinent virus information and resources. I will be
uploading a lot more virus related information to this page in
the near future.
You can access the Virus Information page via the link below:
This link will be included on the top and bottom of every issue
to make it easy for you to stay informed about current virus
threats. You might also like to bookmark the page for easy
Discuss This Story
Bogus MADD Petition
Although the underlying message contained in this email petition is important, the petition itself is bogus. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a real organization that does valuable work in the ongoing battle against drunk driving and its often horrific consequences.
However, MADD did not sponsor or endorse this petition. "Signing" this bogus petition and sending it on to others is pointless and will do nothing more than waste bandwidth and clutter inboxes. In fact, email-based petitions
are virtually worthless because politicians or anyone else in authority will not take them seriously. Often the long list of names on these petitions will never even arrive at their intended destination. Besides, a determined individual could easily falsify the "results" of an email petition by adding hundreds or thousands of names. These names might be real and used without permission or simply made up. In a typical email petition, there is no viable way of checking the validity of names on the list. Thus, the validity of an email petition is highly questionable even if it was actually launched by a real organization rather than a desktop activist with an axe to grind.
MADD has denied any involvement
with this petition via the FAQ section of its website. The site notes:
The petition circulating via e-mail accompanied with the poem titled "I Went to a Party Mom" did not originate with nor is it endorsed by MADD.
While the petition you received probably began with good intentions, MADD did not initiate the campaign. Some variations of the e-mail use language that we feel to be inappropriate. Moreover, the e-mail asks you to participate in a petition, which does little to advance the fight against drunk driving.
Those who sign and send this petition show that they are caring people who would like to help in the fight against drunk driving. However, signing the petition is a waste of time. A much more valuable contribution would be to become actively involved with MADD or another anti-drunk driving organization.
You can find out more about MADD via the organization's website.
It is unclear who actually wrote the poem included in the above petition. The poem has circulated - both as part of the above MADD petition and as a standalone piece - for at least a decade.
Are Email Petitions Useful?
WENT TO A PARTY, MOM. . .
* Please read all the way to the bottom and sign your name *
I went to a party,
And remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom
So I had a sprite instead.
I felt proud of myself,
The way you said I would,
That I didn't drink and drive,
Though some friends said I should.
I made a healthy choice,
And your advice to me was right,
The party finally ended,
And the kids drove out of sight.
I got into my car,
Sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming, Mom
Something I expected least.
Now I'm lying on the pavement,
And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk, Mom,
his voice seems far away.
My own blood's all around me,
As I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say,
This girl is going to die.
I'm sure the guy had no idea,
While he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive,
Now I would have to die.
So why do people do it, Mom
Knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me,
Like a hundred stabbing knives.
Tell sister not to be afraid, Mom
Tell daddy to be brave,
And when I go to heaven,
"Daddy's Girl" is on my grave.
Someone should have taught him,
That it's wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his parents had,
I'd still be alive.
My breath is getting shorter, Mom
I'm getting really scared.
These are my final moments,
And I'm so unprepared.
I wish that you could hold me Mom,
As I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say, "I love you, Mom!"
So I love you and good-bye.
MADD IS HOPING TO GET 5,000 SIGNATURES ON THIS,
THEN PASS IT ON TO PRESIDENT BUSH. PLEASE SIGN.
When this petition has reached 5,000, please return it
[CONTACT INFORMATION for MADD REMOVED]
If you receive this petition and do nothing but delete
it, your selfishness knows no bounds. Signing is such a small
effort to make. After you have read the poem, please add
your name at the bottom. And never forget, DON'T EVER DRINK
AND DRIVE, not even once, thinking that it won't matter. IT
DEFINITELY WILL MATTER!!!
How to set it up:
1. Copy the entire e-mail.
2. Paste it into a new e-mail.
3. SIGN YOUR NAME AT THE BOTTOM.
4. Then send it to everyone you know.
[OVER 1000 NAMES REMOVED]
Tip of the Week: Creating Screenshots
A picture tells a thousand words they say, and sending or
printing a screenshot of an application in action can often be
of great assistance if you are seeking technical help, teaching
someone how to perform a particular task or simply recommending
the program to a friend.
Windows has a built-in function that allows you to easily create
screenshots of any open Window, including the desktop.
To create a screenshot:
1. With the desired application open, hit the Print Screen key.
On most keyboards, the Print Screen key is located on the upper
right above the "Insert" key. On some keyboards, tt may be
labelled "prt scr" rather than "Print Screen". Pressing the
Print Screen key should store a copy of the current computer
screen on the Windows Clipboard.
2. You can then paste the image into an image program such as
MS Paint, manipulate it as desired, and save it to your hard
drive for future reference. You can also paste it to other
compatible programs such as MS Word, Power Point and others.
3. Now you will be able to view this frozen moment in your
computer's history any time you like as well as print it,
upload it to a web page or email it as required. (You may
need to reduce the image file size before uploading it to
a website or emailing it.)
To create a screenshot of just the active Window rather than
the entire computer screen, press "Alt + Print Screen"
rather than just "Print Screen".
Feedback from Readers and Site Visitors
If you receive an email that you suspect is a hoax or scam, I'd
appreciate it if you would send me a copy
The links below point to the Hoax-Slayer website articles that
received the most visitors over the last week:
1. Money from Microsoft Giveaway Hoax
2. William Hung Is Not Dead
3. Glade PlugIns Fire Hazard Hoax
4. Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information
5. Tommy Hilfiger Racist Comments Hoax
Site statistics and submissions indicate that the ubiquitous
Money from Microsoft Hoax
is enjoying yet another burst of
intense activity. There are several slightly different
versions circulating. Some add the line "This was on the
9:00 o'clock news the other night so im assuming it works"
to the other nonsense about the story being featured in
It is quite interesting to note that this hoax has been
continually circulating for several years and shows no sign
of abating. In spite of the fact that the hoax has been
resoundingly debunked on countless web pages, it appears
that people continue to forward this absurd email in the
vain hope that it "just might" be true.
Just a reminder that, if you would like to ask questions
about scams or hoaxes, please use the Hoax-Slayer Forums
The amount of email enquiries I receive continues to
increase every week. Unfortunately, it is virtually
impossible for me to answer them all. Thus, it is
increasingly unlikely that you will receive an answer to a
scam or hoax question via email.
Thank you again for all the examples you have submitted.
I certainly appreciate you taking the time to send them
Discuss This Story
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©Brett M. Christensen, 2008