Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!


Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider
Bookmark and Share












Issue 46 - Hoax-Slayer Newsletter

Issue 46: December, 2004

This month in Hoax-Slayer:
Serena Williams Interview Hoax

The hoax email reproduced below claims that black tennis star, Serena Williams, has made outrageous comments about her dating preferences in an interview. The bogus interview transcript claims that Ms Williams prefers to date white men rather than black men. According to the email, Serena was supposed to have stated, "let's be real. If you are a successful black female you only have two choices....date outside of your race or date other successful black females". The "interview" goes on to record a host of other disrespectful comments that denigrate African-American males.

The tennis star has vehemently denied that any such interview took place and is said to be angry and distressed about the rumour. According to an article on EURWEB.com, Ms Williams said, "Words cannot express how upset I am to find out that someone has deliberately attempted to ruin my reputation and image".

The motivation behind this hoax email is unclear. While the hoax may simply be some twisted individual's idea of a joke, the racist, and sexist, comments in the message are, in my opinion, highly offensive and a long way short of funny.

Like many other hoaxes, the email does not provide any method of confirming the veracity of the information it contains. The message does not record who was supposed to have conducted the interview or even when or where it took place.

Celebrities are often the targets of hoaxsters. Another long running hoax falsely claims that fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger made racist comments while being interview by Oprah Winfrey.



References:
SERENA WILLIAMS LIVID OVER 'HOAX' INTERVIEW: Tennis Champ Angrily Responds

Information about the hoax on Serena's Website

SUBJECT: Interview

-Ms. Williams we are all interested in your new boyfriend.

There is no new boyfriend. I stopped playing with boys when I stopped dating black guys. I have a new man in my life and yes, he's white.

- So you prefer to date white men instead of black guys?

let's be real. If you are a successful black female you only have two choices....date outside of your race or date other successful black females.

-Are you saying there are no successful black men to date?

Of course not but lets face it, if Oprah would date outside of her race she would be married with children now. The state of most black men is so low the only thing you can do is love them. Like a poor homeless dog. You can't expect it to protect you. You can only offer shelter and love and watch as our neighbor's pitbull protects his home and family. I, unlike Oprah, am not forced to stay within those boundaries.

I was born into a new generation of black women.

-So Oprah is being forced to date Stedman?

All I can say is when you find a successful black women who is not married and does not have children it is because they refuse to accept the two choices.

Some may go as far as marriage to a black guy but they realize divorce is inevitable so they do not have children. Or they have children with one and don't marry in order to preserve their wealth and good credit.

Oprah is one of many who silently protests being stuck with such poor choices by refusing to marry and reproduce but you can see how much it hurts her. She's always giving away money to children's charities.

I hope she makes the choice to marry a non-black soon so she can have a child of her own.

-But you have decided to accept the two choices?

Yes. I grew up in California around the two extremes of wealth. If I could only get myself to try the bisexual thing I would have been much happier in my relationships. Instead I dated black men. I loved many of them but they were just not suitable for marriage. Many of them were raised by women and had warped mentalities. So I finally had to date outside my race. When I moved to Miami, I accepted my status and dated men on my level.

-What do you mean by warped mentalities?

Well, where do I begin? Many of them were raised predominantly by women and had this feminine/bisexual complex. Where they wanted to be treated like a female sometimes. For example, I would have the money & they would have the sex. I would teach them things. You know, all the things a woman likes a man to do, I would end up doing for them. Then if we would get into an argument, there would be a role reversal. All of a sudden, they would be the man wanting the respect of a king in his castle.

Black men over the years have become less and less of value to black women both rich and poor. I predict in 10 years they will be obsolete. Now they serve little to no function and what little they can do, they don't want to do.

Why 10 years?

That's when going to a fertility clinic to get impregnated by a sperm donor will become as common and accessible as the flu shot. Women who want sex will do it with whoever they want (girl, guy, rich, poor, white,black)and go to the bank (the sperm bank) when they are ready to have children. Even those who waited (like Oprah) will have fertilized eggs placed inVitro.

That's the day the secret organization of women is waiting for. The day when men are 100% dis-empowered.

-Are you apart of that organization?

No. They're a mostly white group. Plus that day for black men is practically here already. Black women are already raising 75% of the black population without a man. When fertility clinics become more affordable Black women will be standing in line. It will be just like plastic surgery.

Everyone laughed at Michael Jackson but its becoming so popular now,that even poor blacks are getting work done...mostly breast reductions and liposuction.

-So do you want men to be dis-empowered?

Heck, no! That's why I am with a white man now. I want a man to be a man and I am not going to settle for less just to stay within racial boundaries.

A Black man in my position wouldn't do it so why should I. Don't get me wrong, I love black men. My father is black, I have dated black men all my life, and if I have a male child he will be part black.

But my husband and I will raise him together so hopefully he will be a worthy choice for a worthy black female. Not the only choice, or "there's nothing better out there so I'll settle for this" choice. When you are successful you want the best. The best food, clothes, places to live etc. I want the best man also.

-And you think the best man is a non-black man?

I think if there's a better choice for me, God would have shown me. I am in the public so I get to meet lots of people from all over the world athletes, celebs etc.

I am wealthy so I am invited and have traveled to the most prestigious events all over the world. Out of all those people, places and events....I had to choose the right man for me.

Like it or not (with very few exceptions) a white man is the only real choice for a successful black female.


[TOP]



Ghost Under Bed Chain Letter

A chain letter that includes an apparent image of a "ghost" under a bed is currently circulating. Like many chain letters, the email warns of dire consequences for those recipients who do not forward the message to others. The email claims that the ghostly women will look for you and collect your soul if you don't forward the email to at least five other people. Presumable, the un-dead have email and Internet access as well so that they can keep track of who sends the message and who doesn't (grin).

Although the image does look rather frightening, there is in fact nothing supernatural about its origins. The image is derived from the DVD cover illustration for a 2003 Thai horror film entitled Bankok Haunted 2: The Unborn. Although the picture in the hoax image has been reversed, it is clearly the same image.

The Unborn CD Cover

This hoax is reminiscent of another ghost chain letter set in the Sundarbans, a National Park in Bangladesh. This email also includes a fake photo of a ghostly girl and promises bad luck for those who don't forward it to others.

Chain letters that threaten recipients with bad luck or even death if they break the chain are certainly nothing new. In fact they were around long before the advent of email and the Internet. Then, as now, the best thing to do with a chain letter is to throw it away rather than send it to others. The more superstition among us might question the wisdom of such advice. All I can say is that I've deleted literally hundreds of these nonsensical messages over the years and, last time I checked, I was still alive, I'm fairly confident that my soul is still intact, and my luck has remained consistently average!

Subject: scary!!

This photo was taken in a hospital after the patient was in an accident where he was responsible for a young woman's death.

It is said that when you receive this image and do not send it to at least five people, the woman will look for you during the night to collect your soul.

People in Laredo, Texas, received this image and did not send it and were killed outside a bar; it looked as if this woman killed them. Send it to five people or the woman will look for you.

Ghost Under bed
[Click image for full size view]


[TOP]



X-Box Prize Scam Emails

It appears that every few months a new version of the Free X-Box scam email begins hitting inboxes. These scam emails are virtually identical except for the name of the company and the links provided, and some variations in the list of X-Box games included in the "prize". Typically, the websites associated with this scam are quite short lived. They are left up long enough to claim a few victims and then disappear. When a victim uses the link provided in the email to supposedly claim their prize, they are usually required to enter debit card details including a pin number so that "postage and handling" fees can be deducted. To the especially gullible, it may seem quite reasonable for the company to charge delivery fees for such an excellent free gift. However, there is, of course, no prize and those who fall for the ruse will discover too late that they have given Internet criminals direct access to their bank account.

The scam emails usually claim an affiliation with Microsoft, but the company has denied this

You can read more information about these X-Box Scam emails via these links:
X-Box Giveaway
Fine Whine: avoid saprizo.com

A typical example of the scam email is included below:

Greetings,

Your email address was entered into our Microsoft X-Box promotional competition at
[LINK REMOVED]

This is a prize draw, you have actually won a brand new Microsoft X-Box Gaming Console!

Your package also includes these top 5 games:
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Grand Theft Auto Double Pack
- Madden NFL 2004
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
- Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six 3

You are now invited to login to our website and claim your prize that you have won.

There are only 3 winners in total this month, out of thousands of emails, so do count yourself lucky!

We have provided the following web link for you, it is temporary and expires in 72 hours.

If you do not login within this time, your X-Box shall unfortunately be returned to the prize pool.

Here is your link!

[LINK REMOVED]

On this page you will need to enter this pass code number to proceed:

204197 This is very important. Do not lose that number! Put in your address, and we will send your X-Box to you.

We hope that you will enjoy your new X-Box gaming console.

Best Regards,

>From Microsoft and the Saprizo.com team!


[TOP]



1954 Home Computer Hoax

1954 Home Computer
[Click image for full size view]

The caption accompanying the above image claims that it depicts how scientists in 1954 imagined a home computer set-up would look like in 2004. The image has been a popular topic for online forum posts and is also circulating via email. Some versions assert that the image was included in a 1954 edition of "Popular Mechanics".

The text below the image states:

Scientists from the RAND corporation have created this model to illustrate how a "Home Computer" could look like in the year 2004. However, the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the FORTRAN language, the computer will be easy to use.

In fact, no such "Home Computer" model was created. The image is the end result of some clever manipulation of a real photograph that depicts a "full-scale mock-up of a typical nuclear-powered submarine's maneuvering room". The mock-up was part of a Smithsonian exhibit and the manipulated image resulted from a Photoshop competition organized by Fark.com.

The image has been accepted as legitimate by many people and has generated a lot of sometimes amusing debate. Some have postulated that the large wheel in the picture was intended to fulfil the function of the modern-day mouse. Others have pondered if a FORTRAN based system with a teletype interface would really be that "easy to use".

Even though the image is a fake, it does serve to illuminate the fact that our predictions of the future are often highly inaccurate. A quote attributed to a 1949 edition of Popular Mechanics states that "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." And Ken Olson, of Digital Equipment Corp is famously quoted as postulating, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

[TOP]



Software Review: Tux Paint

If you have young children or grand children who use your computer, you might like to let them loose in Tux Paint. Tux Paint is a very easy-to-use drawing program that allows young children to explore their artistic side without getting poster paint all over the carpet (and themselves).

From the developers site:
Tux Paint is a free drawing program designed for young children (kids ages 3 and up). It has a simple, easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who helps guide children as they use the program.

My children and their neighbourhood friends have thoroughly tested Tux Paint over the last few weeks. They just love it! I have it installed on my Windows XP system as well as an older (and considerably slower) Windows 98 machine. The program is quite stable and has not caused any problems on either system.

An outstanding feature of Tux Paint is that it runs on several operating systems, including Windows, Mac and Linux.

To find out more about Tux Paint, visit the developer's site.

Please note:
All software I recommend has been checked for spyware and viruses and has proven to be reasonably stable on my Microsoft Windows based computers. However, it is impossible to guarantee that any software I recommend will work as well for you as it has for me. There are just too many variables to make such a guarantee viable. Therefore, I cannot take any responsibility for problems that you may encounter due to the use of software that I have reviewed.

[TOP]

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dear Subscribers,
I would like to extend Christmas Greetings to all who celebrate the season. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. My children are getting very excited now and keep poking at the presents under the tree..lol. We are lucky enough to live next door to a family who have spent weeks creating a terrific light display on and around their house. It really brightens up the street and the neighbourhood children just love it!

With the New Year just around the corner, I'm looking forward to getting started on what is shaping up to be a very busy year for me (grin). I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2005.

Best Regards,
Brett

[TOP]

Lottery Scam Letters

As usual I have received dozens of Lottery Scam emails both direct from the scammers and as submitted examples. Lottery scams have become one of the most common types of Internet fraud and news reports indicate that many people around the world have lost money to the criminals running the scams.

The scam messages also arrive via surface mail. The "snail-mail" versions are perhaps even more likely to net victims than their email counterparts. Even recipients who have quite rightly become wary of unsolicited email messages might be convinced by documents that arrive via the postal service.

The "winning notification" letters are sent on official looking stationary that includes seemingly professional logos and stamps.

Whatever method is used to get the message to potential victims, the actual scam is the same. There is no lottery and no prize. Those who initiate a dialogue with the scammers by replying to the scam messages will eventually be asked for advanced fees to cover expenses associated with delivery of the supposed "winnings". They may also become the victims of identity theft.

View a scanned image of such a letter.
View a scanned image of a "Claim Form".

Find out more about lottery scams.

The text of the letter is similar to this email version:

EL GORDO INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY

Ref: EAASL/941OYI/02/SHYN

Batch: 12/25/0034

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the EL GORDO DE LA PRIMITIVA HIGH-STAKE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM which was held on the 20th October, 2004. Due to mix up of names, the results were finally released on 25th November, 2004. Your Email address attached to ticket number 025-11464992-750 with serial number 2113-05 drew the lucky numbers 4-18-24-30-31-35 which consequently won the lottery in the 1st category.

You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of US$1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) in cash credited to file KPC/9080118308/02/SHYN. This is from a total cash prize of US $50 Million dollars shared amongst the first fifty (50) lucky winners in this category. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 25,000 names from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America as part of our international promotions program which we conduct twice every year.

This year Lottery Program Jackpot is the largest ever for El-Gordo Lottery. The estimated $50 million jackpot would be the sixth-biggest in Europe history. The biggest was the $363 million jackpot that went to two winners in a May 2000 drawing of The Big Game Mega Millions' predecessor.

Your fund is now deposited in an offshore bank insured in your name. Due to the mix up of some numbers and names, we advice that you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your nominated bank account as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted taking advantage of this program by the general public.

Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated. In view of this, your US$1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) would be released to you by our affiliate bank in Europe. Our agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds to you as soon as you make contact with her.

To begin your claim please contact your claims agent:

Mrs. Kate Henshaw
[Contact Details Removed]

Your claims agent will assist you in the processing and remittance of your prize funds into your designated bank account.

Note that all prize funds must be claimed not later than 25th December, 2004. After this date all funds will be returned to the LOTTERY TREASURY as unclaimed. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please endeavor to quote your Reference (EAASL/941OYI/02/SHYN) and Batch numbers (12/25/0034) in every correspondence with your agent. Furthermore, should there be any change in your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.

Congratulations once again from all members of our staff and thanks for being part of our promotions program
Yours faithfully,
Smith Carpenter.
AFRO-ASIAN Zonal Coordinator.


[TOP]

No more Hoax-Slayer Forums

Over the last few months, I have been experimenting with online forums as a way of staying in contact with readers and site visitors. I was hoping that the forums would prove to be a popular way for people to ask questions about scams and hoaxes and discuss scam and hoax related issues.

Unfortunately, the forums received very little use. Also, spammers constantly tried to use the forums for their own nefarious ends. In view of this and some other security concerns, I have decided to shelve the forum concept for now.

I still intend to do my best to answer as many scam and hoax related questions as possible via email rather than online forums. However, if you ask a question, please understand that it may be up to a fortnight before I am able to reply due to the large amount of email that I need to process.

Before asking a question, please check the Hoax-Slayer FAQ

If your question is dealt with in the FAQ, then you will have your answer immediately, and I will have one less email to answer (grin).

To ask a question, use the Contact Form

[TOP]

Hoax-Slayer Humour: Christmas Cake

CHRISTMAS CAKE RECIPE

You'll need the following:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
4 large brown eggs
2 cups of dried fruit
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
Nuts
1 bottle of whisky

Sample the whisky to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whisky again. To be sure it's the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure the whisky is still OK. Cry another tup. Tune up the mixer. Beat two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it goose with a drewscriver. Sample the whisky to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whisky. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon the sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window.

Check the whisky again and go to bed.



[TOP]

The Hoax_Slayer Newsletter is published by:
Brett M.Christensen
Queensland, Australia
All Rights Reserved
©Brett M. Christensen, 2008
Questions or Comments