Here I am at a client this morning. A successful accountant with her own business. I fix some problems with her computer ... nothing major. Before we're done, she asks me to take a look at a specific e-mail that she's having problems forwarding. It's an e-mail offering a free computer if you forward the e-mail on to 8 people:
She knows it's legit because a friend that forwarded it to her says it's legit.
Here we are, a good 15+ years into the heydey of the World Wide Web, with hoaxes and scams from the very beginning. Yet seemingly intelligent people will buy into absolutely anything they are told, especially if a friend forwards it to them. It's no wonder that hoaxes and phishing scams are still prevalent. People are stupid. It's pretty simple people. Let the following guide you:
- If someone forwards something to you, immediately assume it's bullshit.
- If someone tells you to forward something on, don't.
- If someone tells you something is legit or "for real", it's not.
- You are not risking your life by breaking a chain e-mail ... you are only helping the world's bandwidth.
- If you are looking for something that is "free", I'll give you some free advice -- nothing is free.
- It takes about 2 seconds to refute any scam e-mail that you get. Take the 2 seconds to Google the title of your e-mail or go to snopes.com. It will save you the $60+ that you will pay me to come over and tell you that you are a moron (but in a nice way).
Is it any wonder that so many people bought into WMD's?
"For every credibility gap there is a gullibility fill." -- Richard Clopton
"Quackery has no friend like gullibility." -- Proverb