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How to determine what's true or false

Posted by on 14 January 2015 | 0 Comments

Did you know that if you’re ever forced to withdraw money from an ATM, you can notify the police by entering your PIN in reverse?  The machine will still dispense the cash but unknown to the robber the police will be immediately dispatched to help you.  Great news!  Hang on, my PIN is the same in reverse and I’ve never noticed flashing lights and sirens....hmmm. 

Here’s a few surefire ways to figure out whether the content you’ve heard about is real or bogus:

  • Check an urban legend reference page such as www.snopes.com.  For the past 20 years this site has been debunking urban legends, internet rumours, email forwards and other stories of unknown or questionable origin.  At times it has received up to 300,000 visits a day!
  • Incorrect spelling - nothing raises alarm bells such as a title like ‘God Mornin my Freend’.
  • The email you're questioning is already in your Spam Folder.  No more explanation needed on this one.
  • Look at the email address.  If it's from hotdiggetydog@ or youneedthis@ then trust your gut.  Also, email addresses that have a long string of numbers in front of them are very questionable.
  • You’ve won ten million dollars and all you have to do is send you bank account details and PIN.  Firstly congratulations, but seriously, don’t ever send your bank account details or your password to anyone via email.  Banks and government agencies will never ask you to log in using a link in an email nor will they ask you for private information.  They will always send a letter through the mail or you’ll get a notification when you log into your bank account.

Remember, if it's a really important matter the sender will know how to contact you via other more trust worthy means.

Other sites which can help you check the facts, or if you need a bit of comic relief, are:

Have you seen the one about posting a legal notice on your Facebook wall and how it will protect your copyright and privacy rights?  Click here to find out if it’s true or false.

Oh, and the last piece of advice from us – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

If you like this article, check out Don't Get Stuck, Work Smarter, and why you only need One Password.

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