Hoaxes usually arrive as emails and aim to frighten or mislead. They can take a number of forms, such as:
- Virus hoaxes which warn that your computer has a virus and something really bad will happen unless you take some step. The step suggested in the email usually damages the your computer
- Prize hoaxes that claim if you do a particular thing (such as forward the message to 10 friends) you will win a prize of some kind
- Campaign hoaxes that attempt to use your compassion to trick you into doing something
Users should disregard all hoax emails. The sites below give more information about which warnings are hoaxes. As a general rule never act on any instruction in an email to forward a message without checking first with the Helpdesk. This should save you possible embarrassment later.