The world is filled with information, but also a lot of misinformation, presented as if it were the truth.
No single truth purveyor, no matter how reliable, should be considered an infallible source of accurate information.
Don’t just look at a usually-reliable source to do all of the thinking, judging, and weighing for you. People are people and people make mistakes and/or act from various motives and intentions.
Even professors may sometimes pass along unverifiable rumor as if it were the truth. And even textbooks frequently include numerous factual errors.
So always use your own mind, do your own research and check and double check the facts and sources of the things you read or hear.
Here are some tips to help you ..
How To Spot Fake News And Fake Articles
- Read beyond the headlines
- Find the source of the information
- Check the date
- Check the author
- What is the support?
- Could it be fiction, satire, entertainment or even fraud?
- Check your own biases
- Look for more information
- Consult some experts
Just because something is in print, doesn’t make it true …
Signs An Email Is A Hoax
The e-mail will have a great sense of urgency! You’ll usually see a lot of exclamation points and capitalization. The subject line will typically be something like: URGENT!!!!!! WARNING!!!!!! IMPORTANT!!!!!! VIRUS ALERT!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!!!!
TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS
There will always be a request that you share this “important information” by forwarding the message to everybody in your e-mail address book, or to as many people as you possibly can. This is a surefire sign that the message is a hoax.
THIS ISN’T A HOAX
- The body of the e-mail may contain some form of corroboration, such as a pseudoquote from an executive of a major corporation or government official.
- The message may include a sincere-sounding premise, such as this, for example: My neighbor, who works for Microsoft, just received this warning so I know it’s true. He asked me to pass this along to as many people as I can.
- Sometimes the message will contain a link to Snopes to further confuse people. These references are often just red herrings, meant only to give a sense of legitimacy to the hoax. The author knows that the majority of people will believe it because they see it in print and won’t bother to really check it for themselves. Anyone actually bothering to check the story often discovers that it was not true. Hoax writers count on people being too lazy to verify the stories before they hit the forward button. It’s all a bunch of baloney. Don’t believe it for a second.
- Watch for e-mails containing a subtle form of self-corroboration. Statements such as “This is serious!” or “This is not a hoax!” can be deceiving. Just because somebody says it’s not a hoax doesn’t make it so.
CONSEQUENCES IF YOU DON’T ACT IMMEDIATELY
The e-mail text will predict dire consequences if you don’t act immediately. You are led to believe that a missing child will never be found unless the e-mail is forwarded immediately. It may infer that someone won’t die happy unless they receive a bazillion business cards. Or it may state that a virus will destroy your hard drive and cause green fuzzy things to grow in your refrigerator.
LOOK FOR A LOT OF >>>> MARKS IN THE LEFT ORIGIN.
These marks indicate that people suckered by the hoax have forwarded the message countless times before it has reached you.
CHECK THE SENDER’S EMAIL ADDRESS
If the hoax comes from an unknown source, dont act and just delete the email.
If the hoax comes from a trusted source, like family or friends, there is a possibility that their account has been hacked or that they are unaware of hoaxes and you may want to warn them to not pass these on, because this is also how computer viruses get spread. In case their email account is hacked, you may want to advise them to immediately change their password.
How To Spot A Scam
It can be difficult to spot a scam. Fraudsters can be extremely good and cunning in creating convincing scams.
You may avoid falling for scams by asking yourself these simple questions.
- Were you contacted out of the blue?
- Is the deal too good to be true?
- Have you been asked to share personal details?
- Were you pressurised to respond quickly?
- Are the contact details vague?
- Are there many grammatical or spelling mistakes?
- Are you asked to keep it quiet?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.
More info & sources
Some Fact Checkers
And again .. use your own mind, do your own research and check and double check the facts and sources.