Every time I hear about a new scam or hoax on Facebook, I have to wonder how people can fall for these. Don’t be fooled, a few minutes of research can save you some embarrassment. Here’s an example of one of the hoaxes that’s been going around.
Fox 4 news reported… ATTENTION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! do not join the group that runs currently on facebook with the title “becoming a father or mother was the greatest gift of my life” This is a group created by pedophiles whose aim is to access your photos!!!!!!!…!!!!! Please rotate …this post to all Your Friends on Facebook xx
In truth, there were no groups started by pedophiles. It was all a big hoax, but it got passed along in Facebook and email so often that it took on a life of it’s own. Originally, there were no groups with that name or a similar name, but some other pranksters created similar groups, just to see how much trouble they could start. It even got to the point where people were creating groups to protest the original (hoax) groups. I was tempted to laugh when I read about this hoax, but I’m also sad that there are so many people ready and willing to post stuff like this in their Facebook page or email.
Here’s another one – would you pass on this picture and description?
Whale swallows man in kayak
I found out about these hoaxes from an old friend of mine, Brett Christensen. He runs a website, newsletter and Facebook page that reveals the truth and the lies behind many of the rumors, hoaxes and scams you see in email and Facebook.
If you don’t want to be fooled, it only takes a minute or two in a search engine to find the truth. I recommend going to three different sites to perform a quick search before you pass on the next fantastic message you get.
I also recommend signing up for the email newsletters from Hoax-Slayer and Snopes.
Hoax-Slayer newsletter (monthly)
Snopes newsletter (weekly)
In case you want up to date info, here’s the Facebook page for Hoax-Slayer that Brett maintains. Just post a question on his wall and he’ll probably answer back with all the facts he can find.
It’s not a sin to be fooled by an email or Facebook post. However, you won’t be gaining any friends and credibility by passing on stupid rumors and hoaxes. Take the time to check them out.
I’ve never been fooled by a hoax or a scam in Facebook (or email), have you?