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The top e-mail menaces: SPAM - hoaxes - viruses

Don't fall prey to or particiapate in Internet scams and hoaxes:

  • When you receive what looks like a petition or a call to action, do some research into the issue to be certain it is real. (If it is, I would strongly suggest sending an individual email to your congressperson over "signing" an email petition as that will carry infinitely more weight.)
  • One very harmful email scam offers you hefty payment for questionable services for some 3rd world dignitary, as in this example received by When you receive this, don't panic, but DELETE this without responding!!! The scam here is to coax you into sending money to help the scheme along, then disappear. People have lost thousands of dollars to this one! (more info on this one)
  • Indescriminately forwarding materials you receive in email, even if they are harmless jokes, can overload server and irritate your friends. SPAMmers can use these chain letters to mine for valid email addresses.
  • Do not open attachments that you are not expecting, most viruses are disguised as harmless attachments from folks you know.
  • Do not heed emails that instruct you to change things in your system to avoid viruses. Many people are led to detroy files that are vital to their computers' operation.

Here is a real-time display of hoaxes currently in circulation, courtesy of:
Sophos Anti-Virus

<< Click on the names to learn more about them.

Q. How do these scammers get my email?
A. The same way the SPAMmers do! -
Visit CedarNet's page about SPAM for details.

Hoax Example:

From :Dr Aret Danga

Attn: Sir,

INTRODUCTION: l am Dr Aret Danga a Civil Servant in the Ministry of Health. l know this proposal will come to you as a surprise because we have not met before either physically or through correspondence.
I got your contact here in Nigeria and have no doubt in your ability to handle this proposal involving huge sum of money.

THE SUBJECT: My father Chief Danga(Now Late) was the Royal Head of my community, ELEME (an oil rich town) in Nigeria. My community produces 5.8% of the total crude oil production in Nigeria and 0.5% of the Dollar value of each barrel is paid to my father as royalty by the Federal Government. My father was also the Chairman of ELEME Special Oil Trust Fund. In his position as the Royal head and Chairman of the Oil Trust Fund, he made money which is as a result of backlog of royalties Which accrued over the years of which I am now liable to as the only heir .The money is Ten Million Five Hundred ThousandUS Dollars($10.5m). This Money originated from the accumulated royalties between 1976-1999 . Due to poor banking system in Nigeria and political instability as a result of past Military rules (1985-1999) , it was our wish that the funds lodged at the security arm of the Apex Bank of Nigeria will have to be moved abroad for investment. And in the interim this funds will be made payable to the beneficiary as we will tender.

THE PROPOSAL: Just before my father died he called my attention to the money and charged me to look for a foreigner who would assist me in the transfer/investment of the funds abroad as I am in the services of government and well known and therefore forbidden by law to handle any business transaction or hold an account abroad. So l would be very grateful if you could accept to help me achieve this great objective,as the one whose custody the funds will arrive on trust. I promise to give you 20% of the total funds transferred to your vital account as compensation for your assistance. Ten percent(10%)would be set aside to take care of all expenses We may incure during the transaction. To indicate your interest, contact me urgently and confidentially as I have toldyou that I am in government and will not be seen to violate any of the rules they have laid down regarding people who are in their employment list and again as a result of the bulk of money involvedand once you are satisfied with this term you inform me immediately
for more information and the roles you will play in this business. I want to assure you that once you agreed that the transaction is100% risk free and we will move ahead immediately to conclude it together and do also the necessary investment together.
May the almighty God bless you.
Yours faithfully


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Last updated 22-Aug-2003

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