Virus warnings usually a hoax

Time & again personal & digital bandwidth is soaked by well-meaning friends alerting you to a virus is almost certainly a hoax.

Today’s email warned my of a Christmas Parcel Delivery Scam – with duped folk calling a premium rate phone number at a cost of £315.  The scam was shut down in 2005. (That’s five years ago folks!).

Crimestoppers has received reports of a viral email discussing a scam that informs victims of a bogus parcel delivery and charges them a premium rate for the phone call to retrieve the phantom parcel.

We can confirm that this scam was in operation until 2005.

In December 2005 the premium rate number 0906 661 1911 was shut down and the operator of the number was fined £10,000.”

No doubt it’s operating in other countries.

Here’s how to detect hoaxes, & find out about scams… Copy the email’s subject line into google. Add ‘scam’ or ‘hoax’ as appropriate. Press Search. (Go on, you’ve done this before!)

Chances are that the first half dozen results on a ‘hoax’ search will include the excellent Snopes, or one of the anti-virus services: Sophos have an extensive directory of hoaxes.

So before you waste your own time forwarding a scam+hoax email to your address book, take a moment to Google it.

Public service announcement ends

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