Is this meme real or is it a hoax? We want to be good people and help others. And we would like to think that wealthy people and huge companies want to pass along some goodies. Unfortunately, there are people and groups that will take advantage of your good nature or your trusting tendencies. There are also people who think it’s funny to see how many people they can get to do something meaningless in hopes of being helpful. Here is a list of the five most prevalent hoaxes related to our digital life.
5 things we know are a hoax
- Microsoft will never call you on the phone and help you with a computer problem. If you get a call from someone with Microsoft, they’re lying. Hang up.
- Bill Gates will never pay you to forward an email. Delete it.
- Billy/Susie/Johnny/Debbie will never get a new kidney by getting 1 million “Likes” on Facebook. Scroll past it.
- If you see a popup on your computer that says you’re infected and you can get help by calling the phone number, your computer will never be the same again. Hang up.
- A legitimate prince or lawyer (or “barrister”) will never call you/write you/email you with a legitimate offer to help him get money into or out of the United States. Hang up/shred/delete.
We want be helpful, but there are other, better ways. Sometimes we’re scared of what is happening to the machine, but rather than trusting someone you DON’T know, call someone you DO know, someone who knows about computers. Unfortunately, there’s always someone promoting the prospect of money we didn’t have to work for. Seriously, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s very likely to be a hoax.