Hoax emails are the bane of most email users. We receive tons of bogus and potential harmful email. Spam blocking tools go a long way in reducing the number of hoax emails that we have to deal with. However, an occasional hoax email will make it into our inbox. Helpdesks receive calls from clients and customers everyday wanting to know whether an email is legitimate. From a technical standpoint many of these emails are “legitimate.” In other words, an email administrator or technician can look at the components that make up the email and tell you that it came from where it claims to be from. However, if the email contains information that seems dubious or suspicious there are online resources available to help you decide how to treat the email.
Hoax-Slayer This web site can be found at http://www.hoax-slayer.com/. Their site is categorized to include many examples of various kinds of hoax emails. These include Prank Emails, Virus Email Hoaxes, Email Lottery Scams, etc. They also include a section on “True Emails” along with a commentary on the email.
Snopes Known to most of us as Snopes.com this site can be accessed athttp://www.snopes.com/. This is probably one of the most well known sites on the Internet when it comes to debunking all kinds of rumors. Snopes has information about rumors and urban legends that extends to more than just hoax emails. There is plenty of information about Phishing, Scams, Tax Fraud, Identity Theft, etc. When in doubt, check out Snopes.com!
TruthOrFiction.com Check out TruthOrFiction at http://www.truthorfiction.com/. This site claims to be “…your Email Reality Check” and does a pretty good job of debunking bogus emails. It is a good site to get to the truth about rumors, inspirational stories, virus warnings, hoaxes, scams, humorous tales, pleas for help, urban legends, prayer requests, calls to action, and other forwarded emails.
Credit Cards, IRS, Phone Companies, etc. If the email supposedly comes from your credit card company, the IRS, or your phone company check out their respective web sites before you do anything else! Companies and government services are usually aware of hoaxes and bogus emails related to them. Their web sites usually have information of current and even past hoaxes that have been created using their business or organizational name.
If you’re uncertain whether an email you’ve received in your UWG in-box is legitimate or not, you can check out one of these sources or call our IT Service Desk at 678-839-6587, or send a mail firstname.lastname@example.org.