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Seven Classic Email Hoaxes Of Days Gone By


These days, hoaxes mostly circulate via social media. But, going back a few years, email was the favoured vector for those intent on distributing hoaxes.

Here we revisit seven classic email hoaxes that got forwarded around the planet and back again multiple times. And, these old hoaxes gave birth to newer variants, some of which circulate to this day.

  1. Microsoft Email Beta Test Hoax Continues
    Email claims that Bill Gates of Microsoft is 'sharing his fortune' with those who forward the email to others.

  2. Virtual Card For You Virus Hoax
    Email claims that a message with the subject line "A virtual card for you" carries a virus that will destroy the hard drive on the infected computer.

  3. Nokia Giveaway Hoax
    Email claims that Nokia is give away a free phone to those who forward the email.

  4. Amy Bruce Charity Hoax
    Email claims that 7-year-old Amy Bruce is dying of lung cancer and a brain tumour and that the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate money every time the email is forwarded

  5. Penny Brown Hoax
    Email claims that 9-year-old Penny Brown is missing and urges you to forward the message to others.

  6. Hotmail Account Hoax
    Email claims that your Hotmail (or Yahoo) account will be terminated if you don't forward the message

  7. Giant Skeleton Hoax
    Emails with attached images supposedly depicting the skeletal remains of gigantic humans claim that the skeletons were unearthed in the Arabian or Indian deserts.



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