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virus hoaxes

Virus hoaxes are not viruses, but are usually emails warning people about a virus or other malicious software program. Some hoaxes cause as much trouble as viruses by causing massive amounts of unnecessary email. Most hoaxes contain one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Warnings about alleged new viruses and their damaging consequences
  • Demands that the reader forward the warning to as many people as possible
  • Pseudo-technical "information" describing the virus
  • Bogus comments from officials: FBI, software companies, news agencies, etc. If you receive an email message about a virus, check with a reputable source to ensure the warning is real. Click here to learn about hoaxes and the damage they cause. Sometimes hoaxes start out as viruses and some viruses start as hoaxes, so both viruses and virus hoaxes should be considered a threat.
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