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Chain letters: a netiquette tip

Why you should not forward chain letters

We’ve all received email chain letters – urgent alerts that warn us of computer viruses, money making opportunities, and often, cases of a dying child’s last wish. Please, resist the urge to forward these letters. Report the email as spam and trash it.

While you may realize that email chain letters are a nuisance, you may not be aware of the dangers. After a few generations of adding names and forwarding, many of these letters contain hundreds of valid addresses. Spammers harvest these address and those whose names are part of the forwarding list now find themselves receiving even more unwanted spam email.

There are many other reasons you are better off trashing any email chain letter you receive:

  • Email chain letters can be scams.
  • They can contain viruses.
  • They will clog up already overtaxed resources.

Did you know?

  • Make-A-Wish does not participate in email chain letters.
  • Adding your name to an email petition has no validity because the signatures cannot be verified.
  • Emails requesting money are illegal.
  • Propagating chain letters is prohibited  by most internet providers. Forward an email chain letter and you could lose your account.

However, if you receive a chain email letter from someone you trust, and you feel compelled to forward it, at least verify that the email is valid first. There are a number of websites you can visit to find common hoax letters. Visit these sites and you are bound to see email scams that you recognize.

Some of these include:

  • http://snopes.com
  • http://www.urbanlegends.com
  • http://www.ulrc.com.au
  • http://www.ou.edu/oupd/ichain.htm

Break the chain. Say no to chain letters.

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