How can you tell if the email is a hoax or urban legend?

Some messages are more suspicious than others, but be especially cautious if the
guidelines—not every hoax or urban legend has these attributes, and some legitimate
messages may have some of these characteristics:

- it suggests tragic consequences for not performing some action
- it promises money or gift certificates for performing some action
- it offers instructions or attachments claiming to protect you from a virus that is
undetected by anti-virus software
- it claims it's not a hoax
- there are multiple spelling or grammatical errors, or the logic is contradictory
- there is a statement urging you to forward the message
- it has already been forwarded multiple times (evident from the trail of email headers in
the body of the message)

If you want to check the validity of an email, there are some websites that provide
information about hoaxes and urban legends:

- Urban Legends and Folklore -
http://urbanlegends.about.com
- Urban Legends Reference Pages - http://www.snopes.com
- TruthOrFiction.com - http://www.truthorfiction.com
- McAfee Security Virus Hoaxes - http://home.mcafee.com/VirusInfo/VirusHoaxes.aspx
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