I want to rant this Memorial Day. I hate spam. It clogs my inbox on all of my accounts and it doesn’t taste very good either. What I absolutely hate is the spam that can be prevented, that which is sent by your friends. You know the type: “Baby has one week to live, start praying and we can have a prayer chain around the world” or the infamous Madalyn Murray O’Hair is trying to get your favorite program, Christian TV, etc. thrown off the air (Petition 2493).
These and other “scams” can easily be debunked. I went so far one time as to send an email “up the chain” to debunk Petition 2493 with 50+ links including one from the American Atheists Association and several from other atheist organizations denying any involvement. The best source I have found for debunking the majority of these emails is Snopes under the Inboxer Rebellion category. Another is Urban Legends Online. I personally prefer Snopes as it is well organized and gives you a validity score (true, false, ambiguous, partially true).
So before you click the forward button, type in your contacts, and click send, check it out to make sure that it is true.
Partial list of bogus emails:
Compiled from Snopes
Islamic stamp issued by USPS
US Government is planning on tracking homeless people etc. with RFID
Fake moon landing
Various appeals for money for medical problems
Various missing and sick adults
Various missing and sick children
Don’t buy gas from Shell, Chevron, Texaco, Exxon and Mobil
Various Prayer Requests
Free money, etc.