What is a hoax and how do you recognize a hoax by e-mail?

What is a hoax? Chain letters, begging letters, fake warning, warning against the latest virus, the promise that you will get a cell phone when you send e-mail, it all falls under the concept of 'hoax'. A hoax is a 'joke' or 'cleaning', tasteless or not. How do you recognize a hoax and why should you not simply send chain letters by e-mail?

What is a hoax?

A hoax is in fact a 'polish', but not always an innocent one. You know that, you receive one chain letter by e-mail stating, for example, that you must forward this letter to everyone from your address book as quickly as possible. The letter may contain a pathetic story about a child who is sick and only thanks to the forwarding of the chain letter, can get money for a treatment in the hospital. A particular provider would have supposedly promised to pay a few cents to the parents of the child per forwarded e-mail ... You are dealing with a hoax because such stories are absolutely lied. The sick child does not even exist and no provider would ever try to help a patient in such a way. Unnecessarily overloading email traffic, because no provider is interested in it, and why would a provider think of such a cumbersome way to help a sick person?
There can also be one hoax stand that one dangerous virus in circulation and that you must immediately remove a certain program from your PC. It is about programs that you computer just need to function properly, and if you remove them, you are immediately in trouble with your PC.

How do you recognize a hoax?

There are a few things that you need one hoax can recognize:
  • In a hoax it is always urgent to forward the e-mail to as many people as possible.
  • Sometimes a pathetic story (about a sick person) is hung up, or a serious warning is given about a new unknown virus. Of course it also says that nobody has found a solution for this terribly destructive virus. The idea is that you will be alerted and do exactly what the creator of the hoax instructs you to do.
  • Sometimes a promise is made that seems too good to be true, something like: if you forward this email to at least 25 people, you will receive a message within 24 hours where you can pick up your free cell phone. (This kind of promise is only made to make you unwise to forward the email)
  • In the worst case, you are asked for money or instructions are given to remove certain programs from your computer. Programs that are supposedly harmful to your computer, but if you delete them, your PC may crash or malfunction.
  • Sometimes money or goods are requested. A pathetic story has to encourage the recipients of the e-mail to send money in an envelope to a specific address, for example because a boy on the other side of the world is asking you and your friends for help, since his mother is sick, and they cannot get through the winter because of hunger and cold. People worldwide then send things and / or money to that address.

So there are many ways to fool people through a hoax. Do you receive a chain letter, virus warning or an offer to get something free for forwarding emails? Use common sense. There are many scammers in the world and the internet offers enough opportunities for scams. Hoaxes are also sent to collect as many e-mail addresses as possible from people who are later overloaded with spam messages. So remove hoax mail from your PC and send chain letters and hoaxes, not through.

Video: Anatomy of Scam Emails - How To Recognise A Phishing Scam Message (February 2020).

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