I thought this was unbelievable, so I checked it out on snopes.com, and it's true!
Internet spam has become such a huge problem that Homeland Security has declared spammers to be terrorists. They are monitoring e-mail volume, and anyone who sends more than 100 e-mails a day will be put on the "terrorist" list. You will have your internet service canceled, and be unable to board an airplane in the US.
The Society for Prevention of Internet Fraud (SPIF) has a petition up at www.SPIF.org- make sure to go sign it to protest this designation. You have the right to send as many e-mails a day as you want, as long as they're not spam!
Make sure to send this to everyone you know so they will know what's going on.
Here's what I want to know: why on earth do people fall for crap like this?? Why is it that people who appear to be otherwise intelligent and reasonable go into instant panic mode when they get some forwarded e-mail "warning"??
If you typed up a note and put it on the windshield of their car, most people would ignore it. Send it snail mail, and they won't even open it. But e-mail it to them, especially if it is clearly an e-mail that has been forwarded multiple times, and they'll swallow it hook, line and sinker.
And if you dare to point out to them that this is yet another forwarded urban legend, or something designed to incite panic, they will argue with you.
Spammers and scammers have gotten clever, it's true. Just like some guy who knows just what to say, how to look into her eyes, to get any woman to fall for him, scammers know how to get people to believe what they say. They'll tell you they've already "checked it on snopes.com." They'll make it look like it came from a personal friend. They'll drop names. Tell sob stories. Use URLs that are similar to well known companies. Some even go as far as creating look-alike websites.
One e-mail I got recently was made to look like it had images that didn't load, with a helpful link for "if you have any trouble reading this e-mail." I guess people have gotten wise enough, at least, not to click on things so readily.
This willingness to believe anything extends beyond spam, to almost any website. Make it look like "news" and people believe it is. And look at Wikipedia. A fabulous resource- as long as you stay aware of the limitations, that what is posted there may or may not be 100% accurate.
It is often the newbies who fall prey to such things... but not always. The people who produce this stuff are very good at what they do. Advertising and propaganda, not to mention just plain cons, are a science and an art.
I'd like to offer these suggestions that people should be required to read before being allowed to post anything online anywhere:
1. If it tells you to forward it, don't. Just don't. I don't care how funny you think it is, or how worried you are about some impending doom.
2. If it claims to have already been "checked out on snopes.com," it's a scam.
3. Those pills don't make your penis larger.
4. If they did, no one but you would care.
5. No one legitimate will ever e-mail and ask for your password.
6. Likewise, they will not use e-mail to tell you your account has been canceled... click here now to reinstate it.
7. The more dire the warning, the less likely it is true.
8. If you send forwarded e-mails to any list I run, especially with multiple layers of quotes, and/or don't trim what is quoted in your messages, you will be fed to velociraptors.
9. Don't believe everything you read. Even online. Especially online. Even if it claims all sorts of legitimacy. And even if it looks "real."
Oh... one last thing... just to be safe...
that warning I started with, about spammers being terrorists? I made that up.
Please don't turn it into the latest e-mail warning.
You do not need to be heroic to be a hero*
6 hours ago