Sunday, July 03, 2005

Hoaxes & Urban Legends

Perhaps I receive too many emails, but sometimes I find it frustration to sort through the important messages and the bogus ones that friends forward to me. Through the years I’ve received hoaxes regarding KFC and mutant chickens, fake ATM machines, a fake picture of a rescue diver hanging from a helicopter being attacked by a shark, numerous missing children who aren’t missing, etc., etc. etc.

Most of the time I can sniff out a possible hoax and check it out before I forward it or act upon it. However, like the PayPal phisher who got to me a bit ago, there are times when either my brain isn’t in gear or the hoax is so well done that I miss it. That almost happened to me again today with a hoax regarding the Target stores. It was so ludicrous that I won’t even write about it. However, had my intuition not been working well today, I may have been duped.

In correspondence with friends about that specific hoax, someone asked why people do such things. I have been reflecting on that question. I think that sometimes the hoax is simply a practical joke. I know that sometimes it is a ruse attempting to swindle people. And other times it is a very mean and malicious deception aimed at hurting a person or a company. That’s what the Target hoax was and I hope someone investigates it as seriously as they do those attempts at fleecing money from people!


  1. What was the Target hoax?

  2. See

  3. There are a lot of hoaxes that we believe, aren't there?