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Issue 54 - Hoax-Slayer Newsletter

Issue 54: September, 2005

This month in Hoax-Slayer:
Read Previous Issues


Hoax-Slayer is a Free Monthly Web-Based Newsletter brought to you by Brett Christensen

The Hoax-Slayer Newsletter keeps you informed about the latest email hoaxes and current Internet scams. Hoax-Slayer also features anti-spam tips, computer security information, pertinent articles and more.

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Scammers Exploit Hurricane Katrina

Scammers are using the Hurricane Katrina tragedy to steal money from unsuspecting Internet users. Just days after Katrina struck, phoney websites began to appear that ask for donations to help hurricane victims. Typically, the sites accept funds via online payment company, PayPal and promise to send any donations on to relief organizations. However, there is no way of verifying the destination of funds donated on these sites. In all probability, money donated on such sites will be kept by the site owners and will never make it to relief organizations. Some scam sites may attempt to mimic the websites of legitimate organizations such as the Red Cross.

Scammers are also using email to fraudulently solicit donations or entice recipients into clicking on a link to visit a bogus website. Legitimate relief organizations are highly unlikely to ask for donations via unsolicited emails.

Those wishing to make online donations to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts should only do so via the official websites of reputable relief organizations. Never follow a link in an unsolicited email that asks for donations. Do not donate funds on websites that promise to send the money to relief organizations on your behalf.

Other Hurricane Katrina related emails can lead to a malware infection. Messages promising news about Hurricane Katrina may entice recipients to follow a link to a bogus website that attempts to infect their computer with a malicious trojan.

Scammers are always quick to exploit disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. The 2004 Asian Tsunami was the subject of much fraudulent activity. Scammers also exploited the 2005 London bombing attack.

References:
RED HERRING: Katrina Scams Move Online
U.S. officials warn against hurricane aid scams
Scammers hit Web in Katrina's wake


[TOP]



Cell Phone Charging Danger Warning Email

The emailed warning shown below may have been originally derived from an August 2004 Indian news report that describes the electrocution death of a man who answered his mobile phone while it was charging. According to the report, 31-year-old K. Viswajith "was electrocuted when he attended a call on the mobile phone that was put for charging."

In 2005, another report identifies the victim as a Nigerian man and used very similar wording to the example quoted below. The version included here does not contain any sort of information that could identify the victim, so it is impossible to verify the factuality of the account.

I have no reason to suspect that the original report of Mr. Viswajith's death is untrue. However, this incident does not necessarily mean that using a mobile phone while it is charging always represents a significant risk of electrocution. Any device that is connected to mains power is potentially unsafe if the device is faulty or is used inappropriately. In my opinion, if an inherent risk of electrocution were present during normal battery charging, mobile phone manufacturers would almost certainly ensure that customers were aware of it. They would not expose themselves to multi-million dollar legal actions by neglecting to make users aware of this potential risk. I would think that, if such a risk were as significant as implied in this email warning, mobile phone manufacturers would ensure that phones were rendered unusable while they were being charged.

When describing the incident, the message states that "after a few seconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained" and thus electrocuted the user. Obviously, this is not what is meant to happen, and would only occur if the charging and battery system were not working as intended. An article about battery charger cubes on Howstuffworks.com explains how such cubes transform normal household AC current down to a low voltage DC current. Thus, if the charger is working correctly, no high voltage charge should ever reach a person using the device.

Notably, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not identify using a cell phone while it is being charged as an unsafe practice in its article about Cell Phone Battery Safety.

This warning may also be fuelled by numerous incidences of exploding cell phones. There have been a number of well-documented reports about mobile phone batteries exploding and these explosions have injured some people. In the majority of cases, faulty, counterfeit or damaged batteries cause the explosions. It should be noted that these battery explosions do not only happen while the phone is being charged. Phones have exploded while in the pockets of users or while being used in the normal way, not just while they were plugged into chargers.

Thus, the information in the email could be considered true to the extent that there is potential for mishap whenever an electrically connected device is used. To reduce the risk of electrocution due to a faulty mobile phone charger, or dangerous environmental elements, it might be a good idea to foster the habit of unplugging the charger before using the phone. Having said that, I do not believe that a correctly connected, non-faulty phone charger is as inherently dangerous as is implied in this email.



References:
Geetham.net forums: Dont use mobile phones while charging!!
Mobile phone ‘kills’ youth (Scroll to view article)
Don't answer your phone when it's plugged into it's charger (?)
Inside a Power-Cube Transformer
Cell Phone Batteries: CPSC, CTIA Working Together to Keep Consumers Safe
Exploding cell phones prompt warnings

An example of the warning email:
Subject: Don't answer a cell phone while it's being charged

Don't answer a cellphone while it's being charged

Don't answer a cell phone while it is being CHARGED!! A few days ago, a person was recharging his cell phone at home. Just at that time a call came through and he attended to it; with the instrument still connected to the mains After a few seconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained and the person was thrown to the ground with a heavy thud.

His parents rushed into the room only to find him unconscious, with weak heartbeats and burnt fingers. He was rushed to the nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. A Cell phone is a very useful modern invention.

However, we must be aware that it can also be an instrument of death.

Never use the cell phone while it is hooked to the mains!

FORWARD THIS TO THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER IN YOUR LIFE, I JUST DID!




[TOP]



Hotel Key Card Security Risk Hoax

The information in the email forward included below is now untrue. Modern hotels do not include sensitive personal information on key cards. Early versions of the software used to process the cards may have given operators the ability to add information such as credit card numbers to the cards. However, even then, it appears that it was not common practice to include such information on the cards, although hotel staff may have sometimes added the information in error. However, current hotel card systems do not allow this.

In an article on Bend.com, the officer named in the email forward, Detective Sergeant Jorge of the Pasadena Police Department, is quoted as explaining:

In years past, existing software would prompt the user (employee) for information input. If the employee was unaware of hotel policy dictating that such information NOT be entered, it could have ended up on the card in error.
The email began circulating back in 2003, after Detective Jorge learned about an investigation by a group of fraud detectives in California. Unfortunately, news of the potential security threat began to spread rapidly before investigations into the matter were concluded. Information on the Pasadena Police Department website notes that:

As the investigation into this potential fraud risk continued, this information was shared with other members of the Pasadena Police Department and personnel chose to share this information with others before we could correctly evaluate the risk. This has caused a chain reaction of probably thousands of people being given this information before the risk was evaluated thoroughly.
An article on WFTV.com also maintains that sensitive personal information is not included on hotel key cards. The article explains that while other types of key cards may store information on three separate tracks, hotel key cards typically only use one track. In the article, deputy director of government affairs for the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, Barton H. Hacker, further debunks the rumour:

"The software product that has been given to the hotel community actually prevents the use of the first two tracks on the magnetic strip," Hacker said. "So the guests are not in fear at all of having any personal information on those cards whatsoever."
Given that identity theft is one of the fastest growing types of criminal activity, we certainly need to be aware of potential threats to our privacy. However, the warning in this email forward is invalid. Hotel key cards do not significantly increase our risk of becoming victims of identity theft. In fact, hotel key cards are more likely to enhance our privacy because they are more secure than traditional hotel room access systems. An article discussing the superiority of electronic key cards over traditional key systems on the Dayton Business Journal website notes that:

A whole new key, with a different code, is created for each room with every change of guest. The codes from the previous use are wiped out by the computer and replaced with a new pattern that is also sent electronically to the room lock. The key cards are anonymous and easily changed, making it nearly impossible for a would-be burglar to pick up a card and break into a room.
The information in this forwarded message should be disregarded.

References:

Pasadena Police - Hotel Key Card - Update
Bend.com: Local hotels debunk key-card ID theft risk
WFTV.com: Can Hotel Cards Lead To Identity Theft?
Dayton Business JournalElectronic cards are the new key to hotel safety
Trend Micro: Hotel Key Card Hoax

An example of the hoax email:
Subject: Fw: Important Info - Hotel Keys

This is a fact. Not just useless internet information.

Hotel/Motel Keys

Remember this for the future:

You know how when you check out of a hotel that uses the credit-card-type room key, the clerk often will ask if you have your key(s) to turn in...or there is a box or slot on the Reception counter in which to put them? It's good for the hotel because they save money by re-using those cards. But, it's not good for you, as revealed below.

From the Colorado Bureau of Investigation:

"Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used throughout the industry.

Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from the "Double Tree" chain that was being used for a regional Identity Theft Presentation was found to contain the following the information:

a.. Customers (your) name
b.. Customers partial home address
c.. Hotel room number
d.. Check in date and check out date
e.. Customer's (your) credit card number and expiration date!
When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest's information is electronically "overwritten" on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process. But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!!!!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader. For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

Information courtesy of: Sergeant K. Jorge,
Detective Sergeant


[TOP]



Budweiser Frogs Virus Hoax is Back

An email claiming that a screensaver featuring the Budweiser Frogs harbors a dangerous computer virus is currently circulating.

This email hoax was first launched back in 1999 and has been intermittently circulating ever since. In mid 2005 the hoax was resurrected in slightly altered form (see below) and began spreading rapidly once again. The phrasing in the hoax is quite similar to other common virus hoaxes including the Guts to Say Jesus Virus Hoax.

There is not, nor has there ever been, a virus like the one described in these hoax messages. If you receive a Budweiser Frogs message similar to the example shown here, do not forward it to others and let the sender know that the message is a hoax

Fake virus warnings are a common subject of hoaxes. If you receive a virus warning in the form of a forwarded email always take the time to check its veracity at an anti-hoax or virus information website before you forward it.

Reference:
Mcafee Article: Bud Frogs Screen Saver Hoax

One example of the hoax email:
NO JOKE...

READ IMMEDIATELY AND PASS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Someone is sending out a very cute screensaver of the Budweiser Frogs. If you download it, you will lose everything! Your hard drive will crash and someone from the Internet will get your screen name and password! DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!

It just went into circulation yesterday.

Please distribute this message. This is a new, very malicious virus and not many people know about it. This information was announced yesterday morning from Microsoft.Please share it with everyone that might access the Internet.

Once again, Pass This Along To EVERYONE in your address book so that this may be stopped. AOL has said that this is a very dangerous virus and that there is NO remedy for it at this time.

This is VERY important. If you receive a screen saver from a friend or anyone you may not know with the Budweiser Frogs in it, DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT OR OPEN THE FILE!

Press the forward button on your email program and send this notice to EVERYONE you know.

Let's keep our email safe for everyone


[TOP]



HIV Needles on Gas Pump Handles Hoax

Some hoaxes just keep on going forever and a day, it seems. The old hoax about HIV infected needles affixed to the underside of gas pump handles is once again hitting inboxes in a big way.

Other versions of the hoax falsely claim that HIV needles have been deliberately left on theatre seats and in phone booth coin returns. Versions are often localized to suit particular countries. Earlier mutations have been set in Australia, France and Canada as well as the United States. The current incarnation is a virtual clone of the original US version, which began hitting inboxes around the year 2000.

There are no credible news reports about such criminal activities and the message does not originate with "Captain Abraham Sands of the Jacksonville, Florida, Police Department". According to a June 2000 article on the Florida Times-Union Website:

The Sheriff's Office has never had a Capt. Abraham Sands and has no idea where the message originated. Also, there have been no reports of needles hidden in gas pumps, said John Turner, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. And the Jacksonville Police Department ceased to exist in 1968 when it was merged with the Sheriff's Office as part of consolidation.
In a 2003 incarnation of the hoax, "Captain Abraham Sands" becomes a Canadian police officer.

For more information, see:
HIV Needle Hoax

Example of one current version:
Subject: Very important. Please read and pass on

This world gets sicker everyday! Read this before your next gas fill-up.

Folks:

Please take a couple minutes to read this warning about Gas Pumping Handles. Warning: Look at the gas pump handle BEFORE you pump your gas.

Please read and forward to anyone you know who drives a car.

My name is Captain Abraham Sands of the Jacksonville, Florida, Police Department. I have been asked by state and local authorities to write this email in order to get the word out to car drivers of a very dangerous prank that is occurring in numerous states. Some person or persons have been affixing hypodermic needles to the underside of gas pump handles! These needles appear to be infected with HIV positive blood. In the Jacksonville area alone, there have been 17 cases of people being stuck by these needles over the past five (5) months. We have verified reports of at least 12 others in various states around the country. It is believed that these may be copycat incidents due to someone reading about the crimes or seeing them reported on television. At this point no one has been arrested and catching the perpetrator(s) has become our top priority. Shockingly, of the 17 people who where stuck, 8 have tested HIV positive and because of the nature of the disease, the others could test positive in a couple years.

Evidently the consumers go to fill their car with gas, and when picking Up the pump handle get stuck with the infected needle.

IT IS IMPERATIVE TO CAREFULLY CHECK THE HANDLE of the gas pump each time you use one. LOOK AT EVERY SURFACE YOUR HAND MAY TOUCH, INCLUDING UNDER THE HANDLE!

If you do find a needle affixed to one, immediately contact your local police department so they can collect the evidence.

PLEASE HELP US BY MAINTAINING A VIGILANCE, AND BY FORWARDING THIS EMAIL TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO DRIVES. THE MORE PEOPLE WHO KNOW OF THIS, THE BETTER PROTECTED WE CAN ALL BE.

PLEASE READ THIS AND PASS IT ON TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK!!!!


[TOP]



Kayla Wightman Charity Hoax

The information in this email forward is completely untrue. The Kayla Wightman described in the message is not a real person. This hoax email is a mutation of another equally untrue chain email that asks recipients to help pay the medical bills of 7-year-old Amy Bruce. In fact there are a number of variations of this hoax that use different names and ages for the dying child. All of them are hoaxes and should be disregarded.

The Make A Wish Foundation is certainly not donating money every time one of these ridiculous emails is sent to other people. The Make a Wish Foundation, or any other legitimate charity, would never participate in a charity scheme based on how many times a particular email is forwarded. Such claims are simply absurd. Any message that claims a company or organization will donate money based on how many times an email is forwarded is almost certainly a hoax. Even in the vastly unlikely event that a legitimate organization did agree to participate in such a scheme, there would be no reliable way to keep track of how many emails were sent.

The Make A Wish Foundation has denounced these charity hoaxes on its website.

Hoaxes such as these do nothing more than cause trouble for our charitable organizations. Charities such as the Make A Wish Foundation have to devote valuable resources to answering queries about their supposed involvement. If you receive one of these hoax emails, please do not forward it to others. Please also let the original sender know that the email is a hoax.

Example of Kayla Wightman Hoax Email
Hi my name is Kayla Wightman. I am 15 years old, and I have a severe lung cancer from second hand smoke. I also have a large tumor in my brain, from repeated beatings. Doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. The Make A Wish Foundation, has agreed to donate 7 cents every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much, but for those who don't send it, what goes around comes around. Have a heart, please. If you don't send this to everyone on your list you have a cold heart (Kayla Wightman.) copy do not forward

[TOP]

Osama Bin Laden Virus Emails

Emails are circulating that claim that Osama Bin Laden has been captured or has been found hanged. The information in these emails is false. Bin Laden has not been captured.

Opening the attachment that comes with these emails or clicking on a link in the message may install a malicious trojan on the recipient's computer. There are several versions of the message. Some carry an attachment that supposedly contains photographs of the capture. Others may include a link to a website that supposedly shows pictures or news footage of Osama Bin Laden's arrest.

Other malicious messages that used similar false information about Osama Bin Laden were also distributed in 2004.

As well as the trojan bearing messages themselves, a number of warning emails about the messages are being circulated. The emails warn recipients about the danger of opening messages about Bin Laden. Although the danger is real, the warning messages are seriously exaggerated. The trojan that comes with the Bin Laden emails is certainly malicious, but it is unlikely to damage the infected computer to such an extent that it cannot be repaired. One of these warnings is included below:

Just now a message was received from the Israeli police:

Emails with pictures of Osama Bin-Laden hanged are being sent and the moment that you open these emails your computer will crash and you will not be able to fix it!!!

This e-mail is being distributed through countries around the globe, but mainly in the US and Israel.


Fake information about famous (or infamous) people is often used as a means of distributing email worms or trojans. In June, 2005 an email message about the apparent suicide of Michael Jackson directed recipients to a website that downloaded a trojan. Hackers and virus writers use many different ruses in order to trick recipients into infecting their computers.

If you receive a message similar to the ones shown above, DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with the email. DO NOT click on any links included in the email. The best way to protect yourself from threats of this nature is to ensure that your computer is protected by up-to-date anti-virus software and an Internet firewall.

More Information:
Fake Bin Laden e-mail hides virus
"Osama Captured" E-mail Trojan Infected

Example of one Bin Laden Virus Email:
Turn on your TV!!!

Osama Bin Laden has been captured. While CNN has no pictures at this point of time, the military channel (PPV) released some. I managed to capture a couple of these pictures off my TV. Ive attached a slideshow containing all the pictures I managed to capture. I apologize for the low quality, its the best I could do at this point of time. Hopefully CNN will have pictures and a video soon.

God bless the USA!


[TOP]

WTC Survivor Hoax Circulating Again

Every year as the anniversary of the World Trade Center attack approaches, the WTC Survivor hoax enjoys a resurgence. At this time of year it is a common visitor to inboxes around the world.

It originally began circulating not long after the tragedy of 9/11. It disgusts me that the perpetrators of this hoax could use such a profound human tragedy to add weight to their pointless nonsense.

There is not, nor has there ever been a virus like the one described in the email.

There are several, equally nonsensical, versions of this hoax, including one rendered in Spanish. If you receive this email, please delete it without forwarding it on to others.

You can confirm the status of this hoax email via the Symantec Security Response website.

Example of WTC Survivor hoax email :
VERY IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ !

I just read this in one of my EMAILS

During the next several weeks be VERY cautious about opening or launching any e-mails that refer to the World Trade Centre or 9/11 in any way, regardless of who sent it. PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW, "WTC" STANDS FOR THE WORLD TRADE CENTRE. REALLY DANGEROUS BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL OPEN IT RIGHT AWAY, THINKING ITS A STORY RELATING TO 9/11!

BIGGGG TROUBLE !!!! DO NOT OPEN "WTC Survivor " It is a virus that will erase your whole "C" drive.. It will come to you in the form of an E-Mail from a familiar person. I repeat, a friend sent it to me, but called and warned me before I opened it. He was not so lucky and now he can't even start his computer!

Forward this to everyone in your address book. I would rather receive this 25 times than not at all. So, if you receive an email called "WTC Survivor", do not open it. Delete it right a way! This virus removes all dynamic link libraries (.dll files) from your computer.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE!


[TOP]

New Site: XP-Tips.com

I've recently launched a new website that features computer tips for the Microsoft Windows XP operating system.

Windows XP is highly configurable. There are a great many ways to enhance and personalize your computing experience. The computer tips and tweaks included on XP-Tips.com are designed to help you get the most out of Windows XP.

Each tip is clearly presented in plain English. Where appropriate, step-by-step instructions and screen shots are included for clarity. Windows XP tips are grouped into categories for easy access.

The site is still very new, and there are only a few tips available as yet. The recent server problems with Hoax-Slayer have put me some what behind schedule with this new website project. However, I'll be adding many more XP tips over the coming weeks. You can take a look at the new site via the link below:

XP Tips - Computer Tips for Windows XP

[TOP]

MSN Messenger 500,000 Signatures Hoax

The message shown below is just the latest version of an aging hoax. Some person (read moron) has been kind enough to plug in a current date. Otherwise, the hoax is virtually identical to versions that have been circulating since 1998. MSN has not announced plans to start charging for its free MSN Messenger service. Even if the company did consider charging for the service, it certainly would not base its decision on how many times a particular email was forwarded.

The hoax message claims that the message "will be used as a petition" and that every person who receives the message "counts as one signature". However, the message does not say how these "signatures" will be counted. No central collection point for all the "votes" is specified. The implication is that the messages will be somehow reliably tracked over the course of many thousands of successive forwards. Such claims are pure nonsense and not even Microsoft could manage such a feat.

A very similar hoax also targets AOL Instant Message users.

Example of MSN Messenger hoax email:
FW: Please Read THIS. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT

MSN is planning to take away MSN Messenger by September, 2005. If you want to keep our MSN Messenger free of charge, send this email to everyone you know. It will be used as a petition. Each person you send this to counts as one signature. If this petition gets 500,000 signatures they will keep MSN Messenger. If they do not receive 500,000 votes you will have to pay £5.00 to have Messenger (per month). If you don't care about this then please for everyone's sake help out a little. Thank you for your time and consideration and please help MSN beat their vote PLEASE - Copy and paste this onto a new letter add you name below and send it to EVERYONE you know. I don't want to have to pay for it. Do you???????


[TOP]

London Bombings Nigerian Scam

Predictably, the London bombings in July 2005 provided fresh material for Internet scammers. The Nigerian scam email included below is just one of many that attempt to capitalize on the terrorist attacks on London. The "next of kin" ruse is one that has been use countless times by Nigerian scammers in the past.

Scams messages such as the one below are designed to trick the recipient into responding. Those who initiate a dialogue with the scammers by replying to the scam messages will slowly be drawn deeper into the scam. Eventually, they will be asked for "advance fees" supposedly required to allow the deal to go ahead. Since they will probably be asked to provide a great deal of sensitive personal information, they may also become the victims of identity theft. For more information about Nigerian scams, see:

Nigerian Loan Scams - 419 Scam Information

Example of scam email:
Dear [Name removed],

UPON THE INSTRUCTIONS

Based on the instructions of Her Majesty Queen of England, who directed most fund of money or assets of those that died in the last London Bomb blast should be realized to their families.

I am writing to you for a next of kin beneficiary of our customer who died in the bomb blast as well, he is [Name removed] beneficiary of A/C Number 00414610410 coded Account amount to $3.5 million. Inform us if you are related to this client, to enable us arrange and bring the money to you in your country.

With Regards.

Your responds:-Inform us your Mobile Tel, Fax number, Office Tel, for easy reach. On behalf of our Bank and the Government of Great Britain, We are so sorry for the lost of your relation. Confirm the Receipts of this message by reply mail


[TOP]

Clif Notes Newsletter

I subscribe to a lot of email newsletters as I think they are an excellent way to increase your knowledge, find out about interesting products, websites, people and ideas, and perhaps just get a good laugh.

One newsletter that I would highly recommend is Clif Notes. Here is what the publisher has to say about Clif Notes:

"What is Clif Notes Newsletter? Each week, I send out a plain text newsletter with a link to the newsletter website. I review several freeware applications. I offer Windows tips, tricks, and security advice. I also recommend interesting websites I've visited. Best of all, it's free. No spam, No ads, Nobody else sees your email address."
I've discovered several excellent websites and freeware programs via the Clif Notes Newsletter. Click the link below to check out Clif Notes and grab your own free subscription:

Clif Notes Newsletter

You can also read the current Clif Notes newsletter at the

Freeware Review Wiki


[TOP]

Hoax-Slayer Happenings

Server Issues Now Resolved

Unless you've just subscribed in the last week or so, you will probably recall that this issue of the newsletter was delayed because of some major technical problems that my hosting company was experiencing. However, I have now moved the Hoax-Slayer website to a more reliable hosting company. I'm please to say that the move went quite smoothly. The new host users clustered servers and a robust back-up system so that server problems should not cause any significant site down time. Also, the new hosting package offers a lot more space than the old one, so the site will have plenty of room for continued expansion.

Unfortunately, some email may have gone astray during the server problems and subsequent move to the new host. If you have sent me messages that required a reply over the last two or three weeks and have not heard back from me, you might like to repost your message.

Thanks to all those subscribers who emailed me to offer support and encouragement during the server problems.


New Hoax-Slayer Donation Page:

A lot of people have contacted me over the last year or so to ask if they can make a voluntary financial contribution to help the Hoax-Slayer project. Until now, I have opted not to take direct financial contributions. However, the costs of running the site continue to rise and the Hoax-Slayer project takes an increasing amount of my time. Therefore, I've decided to make a PayPal "Donate" button available for those who would like to contribute. Voluntary donations will help to keep the site and newsletter free. All contributions will go towards the cost of running the site. You do not need to have a PayPal account in order to donate.

Naturally, contributions are completely voluntary. However, any contributions will certainly be a great help to me. To find out more, you can visit the donation page via the link below:

Donate to Hoax-Slayer



Forums:

The new Hoax-Slayer Forums are progressing well! The forums now have over 60 members. If you have scam or hoax related questions, or just want to say "hello" you are most welcome to join our forums. Registration is required before you can post messages in order to weed out spammers. However, registration is completely free. You can visit the forums here:

Hoax-Slayer Forums


[TOP]

Hoax-Slayer Humour: Dogs BEWARE

Subject: FW: ***WARNING*** TO ALL DOG OWNERS!!!!!

WARNING TO ALL DOG OWNERS

Warning to all dog owners: Watch your dog!

The State Highway Patrol in conjunction with the FBI has issued a warning advising all dog owners to keep their dogs indoors until further notice. Dogs are being picked off one at a time on an almost continual basis throughout the city. They are falling in great numbers. Police in the city advise all dog owners not to walk their dogs - KEEP THEM INDOORS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!

Beware of the pussycat!


Just for the record, this is of course a joke as the photo makes abundantly clear...lol. Some people have emailed me to ask if the message is true...perhaps they didn't actually look at the image that arrives with the message?? (puzzled look)


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