Thursday, February 18, 2010

Think before you click on “Forward”

An Yahoo group message board to which I subscribe carried one of those hysterical Internet scare messages this morning – this one about the risks of returning calls to area codes that turn out to be outside the U.S.

The message ends with:

Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam.

Well, first of all, the request to forward the message to everyone you know should be a tipoff that it’s time to do some checking.

And anyone who goes ahead and forwards it after checking the AT&T and Snopes links has serious reading comprehension problems, because both sites emphasize that the message grossly overstates the problem and the risks. Like, for instance, people who fall for the phone scam do not incur charges of more than $2,400 a minute. It’s more like $25 to maybe $100 total.

I agree that it’s good to know schemes to rip you off, but people need to have a little discrimination about what they pass on.

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