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Have You Been Taken in by a Web Hoax? [Poll]

Tim Boyle - Getty Images

A couple of years ago pictures of the billboard above made the rounds of Internet message boards and email inboxes. People were all worked up over the guts that this allegedly spurned lover had to take out this huge, embarrassing advertisement. There’s only one catch…it’s not real. In fact go ahead and do a Google image search for “billboard Emily” and you’ll see no fewer than half a dozen different versions of the same billboard. Some obviously poorly Photoshopped.

But the alleged story was so compelling and scandalous that people latched onto the story and passed it on to their friends without researching it first.

How many times have you gotten emails warning you about people trying to hijack your telephone to make long distance calls, criminals placing advertising flyers on cars in parking lots to try to carjack victims, and the latest, that you can stop Facebook privacy invasions by simply posting a paragraph on your social media wall?

A good rule of thumb before reposting these things on Facebook or forwarding an email, just check it out first. You can always do a simple Google search, or even better, stop by Snopes, the well respected website that specializes in debunking (or confirming sometimes) urban legends. It could save you some embarrassment down the road.

Interesting note, by the way, I pre-wrote this article on Monday afternoon, just before the Sandy Hook boat explosion hoax. Hmmmm.

So have you ever been taken in by something that you later learned to be a hoax? Vote in our poll below and feel free to leave a comment and tell us about your favorite (or most embarrassing) incident!


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