Truth in Emails
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Emails, emails, emails....  What's true and what's not?  Are we passing useful and true information along, or are we spreading malicious lies, hoaxes, scams, or even viruses or worms to friends and family and their computers?

Check the Truth of Emails at

One of the most respected and commonly used tool is the Urban Legends Reference Pages the website. In fact, many other websites refer readers to these web pages, even those who verify certain types of emails themselves.

Before you just pass an email along, please, please verify that it is true.

Pick from a category of emails from the home page like:

... and many more. Most of these categories have subcategories, so you select the subcategory the fits the email before you get the list.

An interesting category is Inboxer Rebellion, another way of quickly locating an email. Some of the subcategories include: Boycotts, Charity, Hoaxes, Household Tips, Missing & Sick Children, Medical Appeals, Petitions, Scams, etc.

By clicking on What's new? you can see emails most recently updated or added to the website. Click on Hottest 25 Legends to view the currently most widely circulating urban legends. Some of these also have subcategories which, when selected, list a slew of emails (e.g., Barack Obama, John McCain, Social Security, etc.). You can also subscribe to a weekly email from that lists all the updated and new entries made to the website for that week.

Each email listed under a category or subcategory is color coded to help you quickly determine whether an email is true or not.

  • Green True and/or based on real events
  • Red False or claims that cannot be proven
  • Green & Red Multiple truth values, a mixture of truth and falsehoods or a hoax
  • Yellow Undetermined or disputable claims
  • White Urban legends; describe plausible events that could have happened, but cannot be proven.

Scan the list of emails for the email you are trying to verify, then click on the link to read what has to say about it.

Of course, the fastest way of verifying whether an email is true or not, is to just use their Search window. Copy or type in key words from the email or its Subject line, then press your Enter key or Click on Go. A list of possible matches displays with a brief description of each. You may have to select other key words or names and try again before you find the email you are verifying.

Each method, category/subcategory list or word/phrase search, has it's advantages. But an added advantage of searching by category is that, in scanning the lists, you familiarize yourself with circulating emails so you recognize them as hoaxes, scams, untruths, etc. more quickly.

Try it... you'll like it!

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