How to spot hoax e-mails

4th Jan 2001
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Are you regularly receiving hoax e-mails? If so, you are not alone, they are becoming so common nowadays that they can almost be classed as viruses, states Gavin Sinclair, senior information technology office at Glasgow University.

Signs to look for, he warns, are phrases such as It just went into circulation yesterday and This information was announced yesterday morning as hoaxes never appear to mention any dates, thus making them appear as new and urgent information.

Another tell-tale sign of a hoax e-mail is that they request you to pass information on to everyone within your address book, an action that any reputable organisation would not normally ask of their readers.

A bizarre chain e-mail making the rounds at the moment is one warning of criminals phoning people at work confirming that they are not at home and then breaking into their houses.


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