Coly Computer Help


1. The first and most obvious clue to a hoax (chain email) is that the email will contain a virus warning. Be aware that ALL emails that warn about viruses are hoaxes.

2. The second obvious clue to a hoax (chain email) is that the email will contain an urgent request to forward the false warning to all your friends.

3. The third clue is that the email will have come from a trusted acquaintance who is unaware of the existence or nature of hoaxes.

4. The fourth clue is the inclusion of names such as Norton and Microsoft in the email. To the gullible this seem to lend credence to the nonsense in the rest of the email.

5. The last clue is that your trusted acquaintance has sent the bogus warning to a great number of people. However, this might not be evident if the person has been considerate and used Blind Copies (Bcc).

Only one email warning is genuine, the one warning you that you should kill any email  purporting to come from UPS saying there was a problem with the delivery of a parcel. One vital feature of a hoax is missing from this email which shows it is a genuine warning, i.e,. there is no urgent request to forward the email to all your acquaintances. UPS does not send emails.

When you open the hoax email, do not click anything within the email and never respond to it.

Chain emails can provide a harvest of email addresses for spammers.

Do your friends a favour, refuse to send them hoax (chain) emails.

NOTE: If you use Norton anti-virus and you requested email alerts, any emails you get from Symantec Security Alert will be genuine. The clues to its genuine status are:- (i) you signed up to receive emails from Norton (ii)  the email has not come from an acquaintance, (ii) it does not ask you to send it to all your friends, (iii) it has only been sent to you and not to a large number of people.

When you open the chain email you will find a:-
(i) bogus warning in an email about a non-existent virus or trojan. Occasionally the email will contain instructions on how to locate the non existent virus on your computer and how to delete the virus. If you follow the instructions you will delete one of your important Windows files.
(ii) bogus warning about an existing virus (utterly pointless because your anti-virus program will detect and delete existing viruses anyway if it tries to enter your computer).
(iii) bogus warning about a non-existent emails which is supposed to contain a dangerous link.
(iv) bogus warning about a catastrophe which will affect your computer on a certain date.

Remember the main purpose of hoax (chain) emails is to persuade you to scare all your friends by forwarding the bogus warning to them.
In my opinion, tabloid journalist are paid to spread panic and despondency, it gives them a sense of power over people and events; the creators of these silly hoaxes are emulating such journalists. By forwarding hoax emails you are helping these idiots to spread alarm and despondency.

Some hoaxes have a secondary purpose i.e. to wreck your computer with the virus or a piece of malware embedded within the email or its attachment. By persuading you to send these emails to all your friends, you are deliberately spreading the danger to them.

Delete all hoax (chain) emails, select them, hold down the Shift key and tap the Delete key. 

When you open a chain email you will see the name of the
hoax threat, you can look up the name in the table below
The table contains the most common hoaxes, some show the release date in brackets.

List of hoaxes
14.4k modem virus
2400 baud modem subcarrier virus
$800 from Microsoft
A Bug's Life screen saver virus
A Virtual Card for You virus
AF1 virus
A.I.D.S. virus
All Seeing Eye virus
Antichrist Hoax (released 07/17/2001)
AOL and Intel
AOL4Free Virus
AOL v4.0 cookie Trojan
AOL hacker riot/virus threat
AOL IM Trojan/virus
AOL RIOT 2 Virus
AOL Year 2000 Update (released 1999)
ASP virus
ATM virus
Awareness Virus
Baby New Year Virus
Be My Valentine virus
Be Spooked
BestBuy Order Fraud Alert (released 2003)
Bicho7 (rleased 2001)
Big Brother (released 2000 )
Bill Gates $1,000 virus
Bloat MP3 virus
Blue Mountain Virus (released 2000)
Blueballs Are Underrated Virus (released 1999)
Bud Frogs virus
BuddyLst virus
California IBM
CELCOM screen saver virus
CellSaver Virus (released1999)
Coke.exe hoax
Combination virus alerts
Daisy Chain virus
Dana virus (released 2001)
Death69 virus
Dear Friends
Deeyenda Maddick virus
Despite Virus (released 1999)
Direct-threat chain letters
Discount Virus (released 2000 )
Don't drink too much virus
DR.SIMON.WAJNTRAUBWS (released 2001)
EBOLA [computer] virus
Economic slowdown in US
El Poco virus
Ericsson Free Phone (released 2001)
Evil The Cat virus
Family Pictures virus
FatCat virus
February 1 (released 2002 )
Flaming monitor virus
Flower for You (released 2000)
FREE M & M's (released 1999)
Free Pizza Virus (released 1999)
FROGAPULT, ELFBOWL, Y2KGAME Virus (released 1999)
Gamma2.exe(released 2001)
GAP Email Tracking (released 1999 )
Gift from Microsoft (released 1999)
Goldbear Virus (released 2002 )
Good Times virus
Google Trojan (released 2003 )
Got You (released 2003)
Guts to Say Jesus
Graphic file virus
Hacky Birthday virus
Hairy Palms Trojan
Halloween Virus
Happy New Year Virus
"Hello Dear" (released 2000)
Help a poor dog win a holiday virus
Hey You virus
Hitler Virus
How to Give a Cat a Colonic virus
Internet Flower for You virus
Iraq War (released 2003 )
Irish Virus (released 2000 )
It takes guts to say 'Jesus' virus (released 1999)
Jan1st20.exe Virus
Jdbgmgr.exe file (released 2002 ) This is the Teddy bear hoax.
John Kennedy Jr Trojan (released 1999)
Join the Crew virus
Kleneu66 (released 2003)
Launch Nuclear Strike Now (released 2002)
Let's watch TV virus
Life is beautiful (released 2002)
Londhouse AltaVista virus
Lotus Notes Worm (released 2000)
Lump of Coal Virus (released 1999)
MusicPanel (MP3) virus
Make Money Fast virus
Malicious joke home pages
Matrix Virus
Meme virus
Memphis.98.MMS virus
Mobile Phone virus
Moment of Silence virus
Mobile Phone Virus (released 1999)
MSN Messenger add a contact (released 2003)
NASTYFRIEND99 Virus (released 1999)
NaughtyRobot spider
New Pictures of Family virus
Norman Virus
Norton AntiVirus v5 alert
Olympic Torch (released 2006)
Osama vs Bush
Pandemic Computer Virus
Perrin.exe Virus Hoax
Penpal Greetings virus
Phantom Menace
PKZIP300 virus
Pluperfect Virus
Pool Party virus
Postal Service Email Charge (released 2002)
Red Alert virus
Returned/Unable to Deliver virus
SARC Virus Test
South Park News Letter
Symantec ASDL Virus (released 2001)
T-Virus (released 2004)
Teletubbies virus
The New Ice Age (released 2001)
Time Bomb virus
Tuxissa Virus (released 2000)
Upgrade Internet 2 (released 2000)
Valentine's Greeting virus
Very Cool Virus
Virtual Card Virus
W32sync virus
W32-PrPlCrcl-G Virus (released 2002)
W32.MFG.Tassos@mm (released 2003)
W32.XPExp.Worm (released 2003)
Wait 48 hours (released 2001)
Watching (released 2000)
WAZ UP (released 2001)
Win a Holiday virus
Windows will Fail on Jan 1
Wobbler virus
Wooden Horse
WordScribe Virus (released 2001)
Work Virus
World Domination
WTC Survivor (released 2001)
Yahoo! world domination virus
Y2K7 Virus
YIM Hard drive killer (released 2005)
Your Screen Name
Yukon3U Trojan/virus
Z Z331 Virus (released 1999 )

For more information click

Hoax (chain) emails are very easy to spot, but should they become more sophisticated,
check whether an email is a hoax by accessing one of the above websites or alternatively,
if you have opened the email and you can see what the warning is about
(e.g. 'Life is beautiful'), type the name of the bogus threat into a search engine for more information.

Go to top of page Go to top of page

Adrian West  © 2007 computer help, computer problems solved

A West web design  click here for an example

Jargon    Troubleshoot    How To...    About this site     Suggestion    Donation    Home Page