How to Find Out If an Email You Received Is True

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The widespread use of email has made it easier to spread false information, rumors, urban legends and scams, along with information that's actually valid and important to you. You can do your part to stop the spread of false information by checking the validity of emailed information you receive.

  • Check the information in your email inbox, paying special attention to the key words. These can include the sender's name, subject of the message, time and date it was sent and size of the file and whether an attachment was included. This information will tell you a lot about the validity of the message. If the sender is not someone you know and trust, you may be immediately suspicious about the message.

  • Go to a reputable website that posts well-researched information about email forwards. Snopes.com, truthorfiction.com and hoax-slayer.com are a few common sources for debunking forwarded myths.

  • Enter some keywords from the email, such as "kidney" or "kidney stealer," in the search box of any of these websites. Click the "search" button.

  • Check the results. If the website has any articles that match the keywords, they will come up in a list with a brief description of the article.

  • Click on a link to an article that sounds as if it might address the e-mail for which you are trying to determine the validity.

  • Try a different site if you don't find a result on the first website. These websites are fairly comprehensive and up-to-date. They also list the sources of their information. Their sources are usually reputable, primary sources such as newspapers or first-person interviews.

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