|May 29, 2011||Posted by admin under News In General||
By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette
Sunday, May 29, 2011 — As a guy who has “been around” on the Internet since the days it was available only on college campuses, I’ve seen more than my fair share of scams, hoaxes and just downright lies in my e-mail inbox.
The most common of these are usually related to the advance-fee scam or other form of the “Nigerian scam.” But some of these hoaxes are mostly harmless — they only annoy others by filling their in-boxes and perhaps causing needless alarm and concern.
The latest hoax e-mail I received warned that the cellular telephone number database would be soon handed over to the telemarketing companies, and suggested you follow a link to the national No-Call List. The link and the website are legitimate; the warning in the e-mail is not.
This hoax has been circulating since at least 2004, and makes its rounds every couple of years. The FCC’s own regulations block cell phone calls by telemarketers without prior approval of the individual. Cell phone owners may still register with the No-Call List, but it is not going to provide any real additional protection.
The version of the hoax I received read as follows:
REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month.
REMINDER….. all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.
…. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.
HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON .. It takes about 20 seconds.
This hoax wrongly states that the No-Call List registrations expire after five years; the truth is the FCC announced in 2007 there are no expiration dates for registrations on the national N0-Call List.
In 2007, the FCC published a web page devoted to this e-mail hoax and its many variations. For details you can visit the web page at: ‘The Truth About Cell Phones and the Do Not Call Registry.” The FCC also followed up its web site with a 2009 press release found here (this is a pdf document, so please allow time for it to download).
KEY COMPONENT OF HOAX E-MAILS. One of the common components found in the majority of hoax e-mails is the request to “e-mail this to everyone you know” or a similar admonition to forward the message in order to “help others.” Forwarding e-mails of this type may be harmless, though it can be annoying to those who realize its a hoax.
An excellent resource I use to determine if an e-mail is a hoax is the Urban Legends Reference website at www.snopes.com. But be aware that some hoaxers — in an attempt to improve the perceived validity of their messages — include a statement that suggests the e-mail was checked out by Snopes.com and found to be legitimate.
I never automatically forward an e-mail when asked to do so. Before you do so, you’ll save yourself some embarrassment by checking it out on Snopes.com first.