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Frauds, Scams & Hoaxes

For decades these hoaxes have been distributed by email chain letters, posted on message boards, on web sites, passed by word-of-mouth, or sent through the U.S. mail.


FEATURED HOAX Coriolis Effect on Draining Water
Contents Clicking on Contents Links Takes You to Index, Clicking on Index Links Takes You to Pages
Frauds | Scams & Cons | Hoaxes & Myths | Malicious Code Hoaxes
Online Resources
Pyramid Schemes | eMail Scams | Chain Letters | Chain Letters: Sympathy | Defamation | Hacked History | Hoaxes | Inferred Violence | Manipulation & Trickery | Misinformation & Propaganda | Myths | Photo-Manipulations | Rumors | September 11 Hoaxes & Rumors | True Stories | Truth Gone Wrong | Urban Legends

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Scams & Cons


Pyramid Schemes

A pyramid scheme is a "get rich quick" scheme that takes the form of a chain letter, gifting club, or similarly structured device that promises substantial financial gain in return for mailing or otherwise delivering cash, check, or money order to one or more persons without receiving any item, product, or tangible service in return. All pyramid schemes are illegal.

Illegal Chain Letters Kid Gets Rich From Chain Letter


A fraudulent business scheme devised to directly or indirectly take your money, property, personal information, or the ultimate... your identity.
How to Spot a Scam
Current Scams List (City of Mesa AZ)
World Currency Cartel
4-1-9 Advance Fee Fraud / Nigerian Scam
You Are the Winner of a Foreign Lottery
Area Code 809 Scam
Spam Scams
Cartridge Donation Scam
Black Inheritance Tax Refund / Slavery Reparation Scam
PayPal System Update Scam
International Driver's License Scam
Troop, Veteran, War Orphan Money Raising Scams
Kazaa Gold Scam


AOL Database Corruption Scam
AOL Give-away Scam
You Have a Secret Admirer Scam
The AOL Insta-Kiss Scam
AOL Prize Patrol Scam
Instant Message 888 Number Billing Scam
Instant Message Petition Hoax
AOL Greeting Card Scam
Password Stealing Schemes - Techincal Consultant, Hacker Enforcer, Billing/Credit/CAT Department
AOL Billing Scams
800 Number Scheme
AOL BlackJack Scheme / BJSETUP.EXE Trojan Horse





Hoaxes & Myths


Chain Letter Hoaxes

A letter that is sent successively, via regular mail or email, to one or more people, and asks the recipient(s) to forward it.

Basic Chain Letters

McDonald's vs Taco Bell
World Record Hoax

Chain Letter Give-aways

Bill Gates eMail Tracking Hoax Microsoft & AOL eMail Tracking Hoax Disney eMail Tracking Bank eMail Tracking Giveaway Free Miller Beer eMail Tracking Giveaway Netwcape-AOL Merger-Inspired Giveaway The GAP eMail Tracking Giveaway The GAP eMail Tracking Giveaway #2 IBM Giveaway Coca-Cola Giveaway Microsoft-AOL Merger Beta Test Payment Hoax Intel-AOL Merger eMail Tracking Ericsson-Nokia Phone Giveaway Tickle-Me-Elmo eMail Tracking Giveaway Old Navy eMail Tracking Giveaway J Crew eMail Tracking Giveaway Bath & Bodyworks eMail Tracking Giveaway Victoria's Secret Giveaway Columbia House Giveaway M&M eMail Tracking Giveaway Honda eMail Tracking Giveaway Newell Company Giveaway RH Power-Outback Steakhouse Giveaways Cracker Barrel Giveaway Applebees Gift Hoax

Chain Letter Threats

Not a Joke
AOL Riot June 1, 1998
MSN ß®øöô¥ £.14 Hacker List Threat


PBS-NPR Petition
Film Includes Gay Jesus
FCC to Ban Religious Broadcasting (Petition #2493)
AOL to Charge for IM's
Free Closed Captioning to be Eliminated
Boycott Saudi Oil Importers
Based on Fact Brazil to Cut Rain Forest by 50% Paget's Disease PBS-NPR Petition Mrs Ary's 2nd Grade Class

Sympathy Chain Letters

An untrue or misleading request, in the form of a chain letter, for help or sympathy for someone who has experienced a tragedy, illness, or accident.


Abducted From Sam's Club

Critically Ill

Little Girl Dying Hoax
Little Girl Dying of a Brain Tumor Hoax
Little Girl with No Arms Hoax
Jessica Mydek Cancer Hoax
Tamara Martin Cancer Hoax
Dave Mathews Hoax
Anthony Parkin Hoax
Amy Bruce Hoax
Timothy Flyte Hoax
Jada Cohen Hoax
Kalin Relek Hoax

Missing Persons

Penny Brown Hoax
Chris Mineo Hoax


Garcia Marquez Farewell Letter Hoax

Based on Fact

Krystava Schmidt
Kelsey Brooke Jones
Aaron Russell Steinmetz
Craig Shelford or Craig Shergold Make-A-Wish

Hoax Spoofs

Boy with Just a Head Spoof


The malicious injuring of an individual's or businesses' reputation by (oral) slander or (written) libel.
Kentucky Fried Hoax
Needle in McDonald's Ball Pit
Satanic Procter & Gamble Hoax
Satanists Liz Claiborne & Ray Kroc
Roaches in Taco Bell Tacos Hoax
Outback Steakhouse Urine Hoax
Wal Mart Lack of Patriotism Rant
Boycott Tommy Hilfiger Hoax
McDonald's Beef Warning
Richard Gere & The Gerbil
New Pepsi Can Design Nixes God
Febreze Warning

Hacked History

Real events inwhich the facts have been altered to fit someone's political or religious agenda.
Oliver North Hoax
Hanoi Jane Warning
Hillary Clinton Goldstar Mother Hoax
Cindy Williams Warning
Fuji Deletes Israel From Map Hoax
Hillary Clinton Defends Black Panthers
Dan White Pleads "Twinkie Defense"


eMail, message board postings, faxes, web pages, and web sites that attempt to disseminate false or misleading information.


U of Toronto Semen vs Human Speech Study
Flesh-eating Bananas
Harry Potter Hoax
Granny Shoots Balls Off Rapists
Dead Man Works for a Week
The Suicide of Roland Opus
The Bill for Zero, Paid With the Check for Zero
Collegiate Power Lifter Suffers Prolapsed Rectum
Doctors Find Live Worm in Patient's Eye


Area Code 809 Scam Hoax
Warning to YAHOO Users Hoax
Hotmail Urgent Message
Antiperspirant Causes Breast Cancer
Shampoo, Colgate Toothpaste Cause Cancer
Sunscreen Causes Blindness
Tampons, Asbestos and Dioxin
Instant Messenger Hoax
Aspartame (NutraSweet) Hoax
Two-way Mirror Test
Voting Rights Expire for Blacks Warning
Canola Oil Warning
Progesterex Warning
Credit Info Opt-Out Hoax
Lethal Rat Urine
Flashing IM Warning
Crocodile Eats Golfer
IRS Audit Warning Hoax
Dioxins vs Plastic Containers

Inferred Violence

eMail, message board postings, and web sites that depict untrue, nonetheless disturbing, violent acts against animals and humans. If these depictions were true they wouild be prosecutable felonies.
Bonsai Kittens Web Site

Malicious Code Hoaxes


Manipulation & Trickery

Online Psychic

Miisinformation & Propaganda

Untrue or incorrect information often based on bigotry, prejudice, and/or ignorance, and disseminated in order to promote a political or religious agenda or gain social standing.
Taxpayers Funding Gay Smut
Vice President's Daughter Wants to be Iraqi Human Shield


A traditional story accepted as history.
Only Child or Only Son Military Exemption
Titanic First Ship to Use SOS
Titanic Never Called "Unsinkable"
Coriolis Effect on Draining Water


Combining two or more images or otherwise manipulating images.
Hurricane Lili Triple Tornado
Unsuspecting WTC Tourist Photo
Shark-Helicopter Encounter
Photo Shows Cracks in Shuttle Columbia's Wing


Gossip, usually a mixture of truth and untruth passed from one person to another, often used in character assassination.
Green Acres' Arnold the Pig Eaten
Superman Actor Dies Trying to Fly
Pokemon Causes Seizures
Leave it to Beaver Star Killed in Viet Nam
Leave it to Beaver First to Show Toilet on TV
Celebrity Mistaken for Gardener Gives Snappy Comeback
Female Astronaut Cheats Death a Second Time
Dude, You're Getting A...rrested
Soon-to-be Rumors
TV's Mister Ed Was Really a Zebra
Tarzana CA Was Named After the Tarzan Character
Sing a Song of Sixpence Nursery Rhyme Was Coded Message
Mississippi Deletes Fractions and Decimals From School Curriculum
Play Entitled "Closed for Remodeling" Causes Uproar
Poseidon Adventure Played as Titanic Sank

September 11 Hoaxes & Rumors

Hoaxes and rumors that all relate to the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

9/11/ Hoaxes

WTC Jews Stayed Home on 9/11
al-Quaeda Has Nukes in U.S. Cities
FEMA Had Foreknowledge of Attack
Taxis Stay Away From WTC on 9/11
Airline Passengers Still Strapped in Seats
Mother Cat & Kittens Found in WTC Rubble
Man Rides WTC Rubble as Building Falls
9/11 Nostradamus Prophecy
Unsuspecting WTC Tourist Photo
Anti-U.S. Dunkin Donuts Warning
Budweiser Pulls Product From Store
CNN Used Old Film Footage to Fake 9/11 Reaction
Prophecy From a Folded $20
September 11 Warning from Afghani Boyfriend
Putting Words in Nostradamus' Mouth
Everything Adds Up to Eleven
UFO Seen in Sky Above Burning Trade Center Towers
Wingdings Font Applied to "Q33 NY"
Klingerman Virus - The Sequel

Based on Fact

Satan's Face in Smoke of WTC

True Stories

These are rumors, stories, pleas for help, and chain letters that were thought to be hoaxes but turned out to be true.

NY State Lottery Draws 9-1-1 on 9/11/02
Child Dies by Falling on Knife in Dishwasher
Court Documents Prove Molestation by Michael Jackson
American Idol Contestant Disqualified for Porno Connection
Man Fleeing From Police is Decapitated by Iron Fence
Man Fixes Torn Scrotum with Staples
Saddam Hussein Has Financial Stake in Popular U.S. Magazines
Iraqi Wall Mural Apparently Depicts World Trade Center Attack

Truth Gone Wrong

These are stories, news articles, and pleas for help that were at one time real, but have now outlived their truth, or have been grossly mis-stated.

Nine Abandoned Puppies Need Homes
Florida Drivers Can Block Disclosure of Driver's Records

Urban Legends

A story, which may have started with a grain of truth, has been embellished and retold until it has passed into the realm of myth.
Internet Cleanup Day
Internet Access Charge
eMail Tax (602P) Hoax
Klingerman Virus
Kidney Harvest
Needles on Theatre Seats
Needles on Gas Pump Handles
LSD on the Phone Hoax
Poisoned ATM Deposit Envelopes
Baby's Body Stuffed with Cocaine
Spider in the Toilet Hoax
Roaches in the Stamp Glue Hoax
Spunkball Warning
Man High on PCP Cuts Off Face
TV Broadcast Signal Seen 3 Years Later
Life Cereal's Mikey Dies Eating "Pop Rocks"
Radio Host Calls Kids "Little Bastards" On-Air
Flashing Your Headlights Can Kill You
Grandmother is Luggage
Scuba Diver in a Tree

Legend Spoofs

Disaster Hoax Spoof
Universal Legend Spoof


Online Resources Understanding Hoaxes & Viruses, Further investigation, Virus Infection Solutions, Encyclopedias, and Sources Cited Herein

Online Resources






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