Gullibility Virus Alert! (was: E-mail Postage Taxes ?)

Michael H. Warfield mhw at
Sat Jun 5 18:42:32 GMT 1999

	Attention EVERYONE!

	It seems that Timothy Gebhart has become a victim of the
gullibility virus (described below)!  The message that this poor
infected individual has forwarded to this list is a total and complete
hoax!  You can go to this URL for more information:

	In short (from the Washingtonian about their alleged article):

]	- We never wrote such an article or editorial.
]	- We do not have a "March 6" issue.
]	- The congressman quoted does not exist.
]	- The bill number does not exist.
]	- The law firm which supposedly wrote this e-mail does not exist
]	- The address given for the law firm does not exist.
]	- An almost identical e-mail was started a month beforehand claiming
]	  that the Canadian government was going to impose an e-mail tax.

	In other words, the people who forwarded this message are complete
fools who did not bother to check out a single detail in this message.  All
victims of the gullibility virus!

	This is also listed on the CIAC Hoax pages at:

	Never forward E-Mail virus warnings or tax warnings or religious
warning without checking the CIAC Hoax pages FIRST!

	If you have forwarded this hoax to ANYONE (and this especially means
Timothy Gebhart) then take your medicine like a man, admit that you were a
chump who got suckered by a lame "social engineering virus", apologise and
ask them to do the same if they have forwarded it anywhere...

Timothy Gebhart enscribed thusly:
> Subject:  I'm forwarding this to all Email users
> Please read the following carefully if you intend to stay online
> and continue using email:


 Michael H. Warfield    |  (770) 985-6132   |  mhw at
  (The Mad Wizard)      |  (770) 925-8248   |
  NIC whois:  MHW9      |  An optimist believes we live in the best of all
 PGP Key: 0xDF1DD471    |  possible worlds.  A pessimist is sure of it!

======= Forwarded alert ===== Gullibility Virus Alert ========================

Subject: hoax alert! -*[humor]*- (fwd)

Greetings Programs!!!!

	For all of those who have ever experienced the "Good Times", "Jesus
Loves You", "Madalyne O'Hare wants to ban Christian broadcasting", "Dying boy
want to make it into Guiness Book of World Records", "FCC wants to tax
modems", etc, etc ilk of hoax warnings and pleas (that are nothing more than
"social engineering virii" of their own right)...  Here is your response!

	Even if you have never experienced one of these farces (maybe
you should be in Guiness?!?!) you might get a laugh out of this anyways
so be forwarned!

	BTW...  I have deliberately included all of the headers of the
original message, just like the real hoax virii [oxymoron!?!? - it's a real
hoax that's a real virus (mental) carrying a hoax message - got that now?]
which should be the first red letter warning that you are being hit by a
social engineering virus (along with obscenely long "Cc" lists that never
get trimmed).

	If you have ever forwarded any sort of social engineering virus
in the past, please forward this along to the same list of chumps (Uh...
victums...  Uh... friends...  Yeah, friends...  That's the ticket.) and help
them prevent to the further spred of this horrible E-Mail social disease.

	Forward this to ANYONE (plus their Cc list!) who sends you a social
engineering virus before you get infected by the gullibility virus!  Great
opportunity to have fun at someone else's expense!  Got a virus?  Get
even!  Embarrass the daylights out of the sender in front of ALL of their

	On a serious note...

	There are real reference URLs at the end for checking out these
hoaxes, so it's not all for laughs.  You just have to realize that it's
serious at the end!

======= Forwarded alert ===== Gullibility Virus Alert ========================

QUICK!  Forward this on to everybody you know!  It happened to me! I know it's
true! hehehe.  Found this off a slashdot posting this afternoon.. maybe you've
seen it?  If not, here it is...

Gullibility Virus Spreading over the Internet! 

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular Internet 
Phenomena announced today that many Internet users are becoming infected by 
a new virus that causes them to believe without question every groundless 
story, legend, and dire warning that shows up in their inbox or on their 
browser. The Gullibility Virus, as it is called, apparently makes people 
believe and forward copies of silly hoaxes relating to cookie recipes, 
email viruses, taxes on modems, and get-rich-quick schemes. 

"These are not just readers of tabloids or people who buy lottery tickets 
based on fortune cookie numbers," a spokesman said. "Most are otherwise 
normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told to them by a 
stranger on a street corner." However, once these same people become 
infected with the Gullibility Virus, they believe anything they read on 
the Internet. 

"My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone," reported one 
weeping victim. "I believe every warning message and sick child story my 
friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are anonymous." 

Another victim, now in remission, added, "When I first heard about Good 
Times, I just accepted it without question. After all, there were dozens of 
other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the virus must be true." 
It was a long time, the victim said, before she could stand up at a Hoaxees 
Anonymous meeting and state, "My name is Jane, and I've been hoaxed." Now, 
however, she is spreading the word. "Challenge and check whatever you read," 
she says. 

Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the virus, 
which include the following: 

The willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking. 
The urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others. 
A lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a story 
is true. 

T. C. is an example of someone recently infected. He told one reporter, "I 
read on the Net that the major ingredient in almost all shampoos makes your 
hair fall out, so I've stopped using shampoo." When told about the 
Gullibility Virus, T. C. said he would stop reading email, so that he would 
not become infected. 

Anyone with symptoms like these is urged to seek help immediately. Experts 
recommend that at the first feelings of gullibility, Internet users rush to 
their favorite search engine and look up the item tempting them to 
thoughtless credence. Most hoaxes, legends, and tall tales have been widely 
discussed and exposed by the Internet community. 

Courses in critical thinking are also widely available, and there is 
online help from many sources, including 

Department of Energy Computer Incident Advisory Capability at 

Symantec Anti Virus Research Center at 

McAfee Associates Virus Hoax List at 

Dr. Solomons Hoax Page at 

The Urban Legends Web Site at 

Urban Legends Reference Pages at 

Datafellows Hoax Warnings at 

Those people who are still symptom free can help inoculate themselves 
against the Gullibility Virus by reading some good material on evaluating 
sources, such as 

Evaluating Internet Research Sources at 

Evaluation of Information Sources at 

Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources at 

Lastly, as a public service, Internet users can help stamp out the 
Gullibility Virus by sending copies of this message to anyone who forwards 
them a hoax. 

This message is so important, we're sending it anonymously! Forward it to 
all your friends right away! Don't think about it! This is not a chain 
letter! This story is true! Don't check it out! This story is so timely, 
there is no date on it! This story is so important, we're using lots of 
exclamation points! Lots!! For every message you forward to some 
unsuspecting person, the Home for the Hopelessly Gullible will donate ten 
cents to itself. (If you wonder how the Home will know you are forwarding 
these messages all over creation, you're obviously thinking too much.) 


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