Widely Circulated Emails: Truth or Fiction

Hopefully you do not open everything sent to you in your email. Here is the Snopes scoop on some of the most recent messages circulating.

Millions of emails are sent daily and even if you can verify the source, the message may not be credible. As Louie Jerome pointed out in one of her latest articles, emails contain messages that are hoaxes, and it would be wise to verify the information prior to swallowing it hook line and sinker.

A good site for verifying emails and finding out if they are credible is listed here.

Of the last most widely circulated the falsehoods vary extremely.

Picture from flickr.com

Barack Obama is Healing the Sick

Picture from flickr.com

One reports for example that hundreds of individuals have been healed by Barack Obama’s touch. The other extreme is advising that Barack is not an American citizen. There are numerous emails circulating about Obama. Search Snopes for the truth.

Steel from Our Destroyed World Trade Center is Being Recycled

Picture from www.autismspeaks.org

This email advices that the warship USS New York is being built using steel from the World Trade Ctr. It was circulated in 2006, and it is actually true. It has a special mission – one against terrorists, and was built with 24 tones of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

You can Fry Your Brain by Long Hours on Your Cell Phone

Now they want us to believe that if you place a raw egg (or popcorn) in between two activated cell phones it will cook. While it may seem like those who walk around incessantly talking on cell phones only to acknowledge the presence of real people with a nod, are egg heads, this is not true.

Open an Email Postcard – Get a Virus

The email about the Postcard with a virus is true. It actually can contain a computer virus.

Be very careful about where you go and what you click on when using your computer. A good rule is to never click on an advertisement on the internet – look up the site yourself. Do not open an email from an unknown source.

Car Thieves are Recording Your Signal to Steal Your Car

Imagine this one, if you can. Thieves are breaking into cars by using the recorded signal from car entry devices. This is a false warning. The chances of someone recording your signals from your remote keyless entry system are remote. It was introduced in the 1980s and shortly after technology was improved to allow the signals sent to the car to be random proving quite difficult for a thief to break the code, as they are different every time we use our device. According to numerous police agencies that were contacted regarding this issue, they knew of no such reported thefts but an overwhelming amount of break ins from locks being jimmied, or windows smashed.


This is a real virus. The individual who wants to place a worm in your computer will divert your attention with headline news. When you click on it you will be redirected to another site and once there you will begin downloading the Storm worm virus.

Cash Giveaways

Hoax – This and versions of it have been circulating since 1997. The names and companies may change, but it is still a hoax. Microsoft/AOL Giveaway of large cash gifts is just a hoax.

Osama Captured/Hanged

Be careful with this one. It may contain a virus. It may be tempting to want to witness harm coming to someone who has harmed so many but do not open this message. Eventually justice will prevail, and we may get to see it on the 10:00 news.

Messages about Social Security

There are a number of various social security emails, some of which are true and some false. One of the surprising true ones is that Bank of America is inviting those who do not have a social security no. to get a credit card with their bank.

German Shepard Dials 911 and Saves Owner

A service dog dials 9ll after owner suffers seizure. This was published in The ArizonaRepublic newspaper on 9/13/08, and is actually a true story. This is not the first time Buddy; our canine hero dialed an ambulance for his owner, Joe Stalnaker. He has been trained to use the speed dial on Stalnaker’s phone. Way to go Buddy. Stalnaker spent two days in the hospital and has recovered.

To read more on this story log in at: http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/2008/09/13/20080913buddy-ON.html

Dad Chases Nude Boy with Pipe

While I do not condone violence, I sympathize with the father in this one. Can you imagine waking in the night to sounds from your teenage daughter’s room, and opening the door to see a young man standing naked in her bed? Many fathers would have probably lost it.

This happened in Deltona, Fl. The father chased the naked youngster from his home and then called the police. The young man suffered from head wounds, the father received fines of $10,000 and was charged with battery on a minor. I wonder what happened to the girl. It seems that her parents did not know she had a boy friend… To read more:


Thirty Three Year Old Steals Daughter ID to Become Cheerleader

I guess this one just goes to show that truth is stranger than fiction. Wendy Brown, of Green Bay, faces a felony identity theft charge after enrolling in Ashwaubenon High School as her 15-year-old daughter, who lives in Nevada with Brown’s mother. Brown

wrote a $134.50 check and gave it to the cheerleading coach for her uniform. Charges were filed against her when the check bounced. Brown’s mother states that Brown has previous problems with identity theft. Brown states she just wanted to recapture some of her childhood. To read more on this story go here.

As writers or even readers we owe it to ourselves to know the truth. If you just want to check out a story you’ve heard, or want to read the latest truth and fiction you can log in at http://www.snopes.com/daily/ for the daily Snopes scoops. Do not be a victim of misinformation or the next computer virus. Happy reading.


Thats a very nice article, Judy. Thanx for all the info.

BC Doan

Very interesting article since some of these stories circulated online, and I have always wondered about them…Thanks Judy!

Judy Sheldon

Valli and BC thank you for reading and supporting.


Sister, you’ve brought up important messages with this article.
Thanks for your hard word lol…Take care!

nobert soloria bermosa

interesting article, i never read many on the list,thanks Judy

neelam pandey

interesting as well as informative!! even i would try this as receive many such mails on a daily basis.

Carolyn Cordon

Great work Judy – if only people checked with Snopes before they sent some of this rubbish to their friend! I always check first – I love Snopes!

Judy Sheldon

Chan, Nobert, Neelam, and Carolyn, thank you for your support. I do believe that Snopes does an outstanding job of verifying data for us.
I have found that a few of the messages I was concerned about were actually totally fictitious. It was a relief to know.

Joe Poniatowski

Great article. One of my pet peeves is that people do *not* check things out on Snopes or similar sites before forwarding. Thanks for highlighting this.

Judy Sheldon

Joe, mine too. You are so welcome.

Chris Stonecipher

Wow! A grown woman impersonating as a high school cheerleader.
I recently discovered snopes and found it to be a great tool. I also found that free game download are sometimes full of viruses.
Thanks for sharing this!

Judy Sheldon

Chris, thanks for reading and supporting and you are absolutely right. Free game downloads and limewire can be loaded with spyware and viruses. Scary stuff.

Tina Brazee

Great article. Thanks for the info.

Judy Sheldon

Tina, thanks for reading.

Take care & God bless.

Alexa Gates

Obama healing the sick…that’s kinda funny…no offense to Obama or anything.. great article i hate getting those kind of emails.

Judy Sheldon

Alexa, I quite agree. Thanks for reading.

Jody Brown

Is it true that President Obama issued a referendum that no Military Personnel can speak at any religious function? I got a email saying this actually has happened.

Jud Garziano

An email is going around stating that within the health care bill is a regulation that as of 2013 if a house is sold, there is a sales tax which the buyer will pay of 3.8%. Truth or just election year stuff you wipe off the bottom of ones shoes.


is the e-mail about starbucks denying coffee to US troops true?


Bernie, you can get your answer here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/starbucks.asp

If you doubt the validity of anything check it out at snopes.

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