By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with _WWW.snopes.Com_ (http://www.snopes.com/) and/or_WWW.truthorfiction.Com_ (http://www.truthorfiction.com/) for determining whether information received via email is just that: true/false or fact/fiction.
Both are excellent sites. I received the advice below from one of my correspondents today.Advice from Snopes.com
MEMORIZE THIS!1) Any time you see an E-Mail that says forward this on to '10' of your friends, sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck, or whatever, it almost always has an E-Mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and E-Mails of those folks you forward to. The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' E-Mails addresses to use in SPAM E-Mails, or sell to other spammers.
2) Almost all E-Mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of E-Mail is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers and spammers - - to validate active E-Mail accounts for their own profitable purposes. You can do your friends and family members a GREAT favor by sending this information to them; you will be providing a service to your friends, and will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam E-Mails in the future!
If you have been sending out (FORWARDING) the above kinds of E-Mail, now you know why you get so much SPAM! Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(s) to those types of listings regardless how inviting they might sound!You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT in the long run. Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later! Plus, we are helping the spammers get rich! Let's don't make it easy for them!
Also: E-Mail petitions are NOT acceptable to the Government or any other organization. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address of the person signing the petition. Read the full story here: _http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/petition/internet.asp_ (http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/petition/internet.asp)