Task 7 - Determine if an e-mail message is true or false, or worse - a scam!

 Some of the e-mail we receive and believe to be true, may be false or worse, a scam or hoax!

bullet 10 ways to spot an E-mail Scam
bullet Too many stories - urban legends, rumors and SCAMS are spread throughout the World via e-mail.
bullet Learn to check out the facts, and discern the validity of and e-mail BEFORE you forward it on to your friends!

Truth

Consequences
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Do not believe everything you read in an e-mail message.

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Investigate whether an e-mail story is true or false, especially before you forward on the message.

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Check the validity of messages at these sites
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Truth or Fiction

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HoaxBusters

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Snopes

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Hoax-Slayer

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Scambusters

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Looks to be good to be true

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Risk assessment test

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Each of these sites has a search feature.  Type in the subject or keyword of your topic, and view the results.

Example

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Usama bin Laden Links ensnare unsuspecting computer users

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Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert

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After the tsunami wreaked havoc on Indonesia many e-mails circulated displaying pictures of the this disaster.  Did you know that some of these pictures were NOT of the tsunami at all.  What a waste of time!

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Transfer fund assistance scams

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Check it out.  You will be amazed at how many e-mails you receive that are actually false.  Don't forward them on.

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Do your part in squashing these rumors, and hoaxes.

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E-mail is a resource, and like all resources one must be careful what they do with it.  E-mail abuse can have bad consequences:

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Identity Theft -  (see Phishing webpage task 8 link)

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Personal Embarrassment  -  Do not use e-mail to spread false or useless information.

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More Spam - Do not send out e-mail to big groups of people.  If you do want to send an e-mail to large groups of people, use the BCC method. Using BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) will hide the e-mail addresses of the people you are sending to. This way no one can view whom else you sent the e-mail to and/or garner those e-mail addresses.

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Resources to file a complaint or report a Internet Crime

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Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim:

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Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.

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Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.

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Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan all attachments, if possible.

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Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.

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Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they match and will lead you to a legitimate site.

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If you think you're a victim of identity theft, here's what you should do

Recently a friend sent me this e-mail.  Have you ever received an e-mail and wondered if it was true?

You should wonder if it is true, because anyone can make up a story and send it off in an e-mail.

Read the story below and determine if it is true or not with a little investigative work.

PLEASE READ...Warning to all women.

Hi all,  I Thought this was worthy of passing along. This was sent to my wife, by a close friend. The last comments are from her.  This is something that happened to Ryan and me on the way back from Texas last spring. I didn't think much of it until now. The reason we were a little suspicious is we had been riding in a jeep all day with 100 degrees temps and we stopped at a truck stop for something to drink. When I was leaving a young girl followed me out and asked what kind of cologne I was wearing. Well, after 7 hours in the car sweating. I don't think you could tell I was or was not wearing any cologne. We just got in the jeep and said no thanks. So this does happen. To all my female friends It was about 3 weeks ago, I was at the shell station in Auburn getting gas. It was about 11:30pm . I was approached by 2 men and 2 women in a car. The man that was driving asked me 'What kind of perfume do you wear?' I was a bit confused and I asked him 'Why?' He said 'We are selling some name brand perfumes, at cheap prices.' I said I had no money. He then reached out of the car and handed me paper that was laminated; it had many perfumes on it. I looked quickly at it and gave it back. I said, I have no money. He said it is OK, we take check, cash, or credit cards. Then the people in the car began to laugh. I just got in my car and said no thanks. Then I received this e-mail yesterday, and it sent chills up my spine.  

Dear Friends, 

I know not all of you are women that I am sending this to, but am hoping you will share this with your wives, daughters, mother, sisters, etc. Our world seems to be getting crazier by the day. Pipes bombs in mailboxes and sickos in parking lots with perfume. Be careful. I was approached yesterday afternoon around 3:30 pm in the Wal-Mart parking lot at University Drive in Des Moines, by two males asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at a very reasonable rate. I probably would have agreed had I not received an e-mail some weeks ago warning of a 'Wanna smell this neat perfume?' scam. The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, pointing at them, and told her about how I was sent a e-mail at work, about someone walking up to you at the malls or in parking lots, and asking you to SNIFF PERFUME that they are selling at a cheap price. THIS IS NOT PERFUME...IT IS ETHER! When you sniff it, you'll pass out. And they'll take your wallet, your valuables, and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably would have sniffed the 'perfume.' But thanks to the generosity of an e-mailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me. I wanted to do the same for you. PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS, AND PLEASE BE ALERT, AND BE AWARE. IF YOU ARE A MAN AND RECEIVE THIS, PASS IT ON TO YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS. 

Now go to http://www.truthorfiction.com  Note that this site has a search feature. Were you able to find out?  If not the answer is below.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/p/perfume.htm

Perfume Hoax?

Here are a few others to check out Lead Lipstick, Nigerian Advance Fee Scam, Microsoft AOL Email Beta Test

Congratulations you have successfully completed task 7.  Now on to task 8