hoax emailsHoax emails and internet rumor, disguised as funny emails, scary emails, breaking news and so on, are becoming to be big source of spreading malware. Malware distributors send spam messages containing attractive headline and subject messages, with a link appearing to be leading to some video, news item or something like that.

Actually these link take the user to a site, where they will ultimately be lead into the installation of some malware on their computers.

Can you identify the hoax emails from the genuine emails. Let’s take a test. These are a few email headlines, recently circulating round the inbox of innocent users.

  • Yahoo! has announced it will be shutting down all GeoCities web sites.
  • Entering a phone number into the Google search engine will return a home address and a map with directions to that address.
  • Joining Word-of-Mouth.Org will enable you to find out what others are saying about you.
  • Your personal information can be obtained through the Zabasearch.com web site.
  • Fellow staying overnight drinks his girlfriend’s contact lenses that were left in a glass of water by the bed.

Can you identify, which is the genuine information and which is a hoax? It is extremely difficult going by the subject line.

The safest way out is just to ignore the message. But what if, you are too tempted to ignore it. What if you just want to discover more about it but are afraid of whether it is a hoax and might lead you into trouble. Can somebody detect it for you.

Yes, there is a free service just for this purpose.

Snopes – The Ultimate Test for Urban Legend

Snopes is a website, which allows you to detect, whether the headline is a hoax email or a genuine one. You just have to copy the headline, and paste it into the Snopes website to test it. Snopes will search it in its database and tell you the truth.

snopes logo

A review on reader’s digest about this says…

Snopes.com, the Internet’s preeminent resource for verifying and debunking rumors, ridiculous claims, and those e-mail chain letters your sister-in-law can’t stop forwarding. Whether it’s an urban legend like the Gates story, an overblown warning about the latest computer virus, or that bizarre photo circulating of “Hercules, the world’s biggest dog,” chances are Snopes.com has checked it out and rated it as “true,” “false,” or “undetermined.”

Truly a great service.

[Visit Snopes.com]