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Unfounded Rumour - Facebook Friend Request Warning - People Trying to Access Photos of Children

"Urgent" message circulating on Facebook warns users not to accept friend requests from Ponce Martin, Lorraine Miyama, Dario Murgiondo, Montaldo G, Blue Belen, Julieta Montaldo, Jester Fan, Luly Carbal or Martina Di Stefano because these people are trying to access photos of children.

Massive Mound of Writhing Rattle Snakes

Message claims that attached photographs show a large mass of rattle snakes emerging from a den at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas.

eBay 'Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation' Phishing Scam

Message purporting to be from John Canfield of eBay Trust & Safety claims that eBay is implementing a new safety initiative called Trusted Selling with Identity Confirmation and members must therefore follow a link to update their password and other account information.

FB Security "Hacker" and "Virus" Warning

Alert circulating on Facebook warns users not to click on a message claiming to be from FB Security because it is a "hacker" and a "virus".

Hoax: HIV Infected Blood In Pepsi

Circulating messages warn people not to drink Pepsi because a Pepsi worker has contaminated bottles with his HIV infected blood.

Kidney Stealing Hoax

Email warns that medically trained criminals are stealing kidneys from living victims to sell on the black market.

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Tip of The Week

A simple security reminder. Don't use the same password across multiple accounts. I know using one password can be convenient, but it does represent a real security risk. If someone gets hold of your password, they may be able to use it to access several of your accounts instead of just one, thereby making the security breach significantly worse. This precaution might seem like common sense, but it seems that many people tend to overlook it. I know of people who have used the same simple password for everything from Facebook to their Internet Banking accounts.

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Alert From Facebook Security Team Phishing Scam

Message, purporting to be from the Facebook Security Team, claims that the recipientís Facebook account may have been compromised and that he or she must follow a link to verify account details within 12 hours or risk having the account permanently suspended.

Five Headed Cobra Hoax Images

Circulating images supposedly depict a five-headed cobra found at Kukke Subrahmanya, a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Karnataka.

Is Lemon A Cancer Killer That is 10,000 Times Stronger Than Chemotherapy?

Message purporting to be from the Institute of Health Sciences in Baltimore claims that lemon is a "miraculous product" that can kill cancer cells, is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy, and is "a proven remedy against cancers of all types".

ATM Security Advise Message : Enter PIN In Reverse to Call Police

Message claims that if you are forced by robbers to withdraw money from an ATM, you can secretly alert police by entering your PIN in reverse

Marzipan Frosting Babies Hoax Email

Message claims that attached photographs show cake-frosting babies made from marzipan.

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Diamond Mercedes

A Diamond Covered Mercedes?

From the Hoax-Slayer Archive

Praying Mother and Son Rock Formation

Email message claims an attached image depicts a rock formation in Burma that resembles a mother and son praying by a lake.

Gibraltar Airport Runway Photographs

Email claims that attached photographs show a busy road that goes right across the main runway at Gibraltar airport.

First Communion on the Moon

Message claims that Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin took communion on the Moon using a special communion kit given to him by his church

Redneck Mansion Photograph

Circulating photograph of an unusual structure made from a collection of stacked caravans (trailers) is falsely labelled as a "redneck mansion"

Bad Times Spoof

Email mocks the "Good Times" virus hoax by detailing the outrageous effects of an imaginary virus named "Badtimes"

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Blogging is great! The expanding number of free blogging services means that any interested individual with access to an Internet enabled computer can create their own, unique little website with a minimum of fuss, no expense, and little knowledge of web design. Once your blog is set up, you can write about anything you like. There are thousands of very interesting and informative articles posted on blogs every day. Unfortunately, however, a lot of what I can only describe as unmitigated garbage also makes its way into the Blogosphere, including a fair share of hoax messages.

When conducting article research, I increasingly come across blog posts that are exact copies of hoax messages that normally travel via email. In many cases, it seems that the blog owner has received a hoax via email, tidied it up a little and simply thrown it online without bothering to check its veracity in any way.

Thus, blogging is unintentionally becoming another quite powerful means of spreading misinformation. Because blog posts often have an attractive and professional appearance, the offending hoax message may attain a certain amount of undeserved credibility simply because of the medium it appears on. Also, blog posts often tend to get indexed by Internet search engines quite quickly. Therefore, someone searching for information about an email message they received may come across the same message posted on several blogs and wrongly conclude that the message is valid.

Of course, many non-blog websites can and do publish false or misleading information as well. However, the peculiar characteristics of blogging mean that a blog owner, with the best of intentions, can upload false information for the entire world to see with just a few mouse clicks.

So, keep your sceptic's hat on while surfing or researching. If something you read online seems a little dubious, try to verify it via other sources before you count it as true.

More importantly, if you run a blog yourself, take a minute or so to verify information before you post it. If the info turns out to be true, well and good. And, if your research reveals that the information is untrue you can certainly still post about it. Just make sure that you let your readers know the truth about what you are are posting.

In a day and age when everyone with a computer and Internet access can get his or her opinions, ideas and thoughts published and potentially read by many, many people, perhaps we have a certain responsibility to try to avoid spreading nonsense and misinformation.

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