how to check email hoax
How to Identify an Email Hoax
Have you ever got an email that claims you have won a lottery or free air tickets, although you can't recall entering any such contest? Or have you received an email announcing some very important news that you wonder why you haven't ever heard of before? If the answer is yes, then you have been a victim of an email hoax. Read on to know how to identify such emails, and stop wasting time reading and forwarding them.
- Mails that appeal to help someone in trouble, like missing child or charity hoaxes.
- False virus alerts or bogus warnings.
- Email chain letters.
- Emails that promise free gifts or cash rewards on forwarding.
- Emails that make petitions and protests.
- A hoaxer wants his message to spread across as many recipients as possible. Phrases like forward this to everyone you know or forward this email to all the people in your address book are very commonly used lines in email hoaxes. Some emails might also specify a certain number of people that it should be forwarded to, so you can win a prize or gain a benefit.
- Note the language of the mail. Hoax emails typically use an 'over the top' style of writing. Words like urgent, danger, and hurry are typical; for greater effect, these words are written in all caps. There are certain hoax emails that appeal to help dying children or people hit by some calamity. Such mails use language dripping with emotion; be skeptical and use your own judgment before forwarding such mails.
- Hoax emails try to sound authentic by claiming to be backed by some government organization or big corporate entity. If that is the case, then look for some sign of genuine involvement of such an organization or entity. Try to search for a way you could contact those organizations; if such a way is not readily available, it is probably a hoax email that you are reading.
- These mails do not provide verifiable evidence or links to other sites related to the content of the mail. For example, if the mail seems to be an alert for some virus, look for a link to some other site that corroborates the information. Also look for the signature of the sender in the email. If there is no reference of the person or organization who sent the mail, it's time to reconsider the veracity of the mail.