Let the Email Hoaxes Commence

According to www.snopes.com the following email started in March 2006

Hi, my name is Bryan Warner. I am 21 years old, and I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn’t fixed, and my family can’t pay the bills. “The Make A Wish Foundation” has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is reposted. For those of you who repost, I thank you so much. But for those who don’t repost it, I will still pray for you. Please, if you are a kind person, have a heart. Please, please, PLEASE REPOST THIS MESSAGE!

Bryan Warner
714-xxx-xxxx Home

Please feel free to call me for anything.

*hey it wont cost you but 10 seconds of your time to repost

I soon found this posted on myspace by someone who kept posting it and posting it on the bulletin. I wanted so bad to remark on the post by asking the poster if she felt this might be a hoax, but decided against by the mere fact that if it was true, I would be a victim of Latin disease Open mouthus insertus footus, which I am famous for. So, I let it pass, but it lingered with me until I saw it posted again. Again, I was going to email the person and say how gulliable are you, but again, restrained myself. Instead, I did some investigating and viola – here’s what I found on Snopes (www.snopes.com):

The above-quoted “dying child” appeal first appeared in our inbox in late March 2006 and is simply a reworking of the long-running “Amy Bruce” e-mail hoax with a different name slapped into the text. The underlying falsity remains the same: the Make-A-Wish Foundation will not donate money to anyone based upon the number of times an online appeal is forwarded via e-mail or posted to message boards. The “Bryan Warner” message is one of many variants of the same basic hoax, one which falsely claims that the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, or some other charitable or medical organization will donate a set amount of money every time a particular appeal is reposted. (Indeed, a quick look at the 2006 dying child e-mail hoax in the name of Chad Briody shows the Bryan Warner e-mail is but a reworking of it.)

The name used in this particular version of the leg-pull is also not unfamiliar to us – Brian Warner is the real name of shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Manson is featured in three rumors we’ve written about in depth on snopes.com and one we’ve only lightly touched on: the belief that prior to his music career he played the geeky sidekick on television’s The Wonder Years, that as part of his stage show he would slaughter puppies then throw their carcasses into the audience or demand his audience kill the pooches for him, that his church’s youth group’s having shunned him was the impetus behind his particular brand of music, and that he had a rib removed to facilitate self gratification of an oral nature.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation does not in any way assist in procuring medical treatment for sick children. They do work to grant the wishes of youngsters with life-threatening medical conditions, but the Make-A-Wish Foundation is about “enriching the human experience with hope, strength, and joy” by helping to create special days for desperately ill children, not about collecting donations to pay for medical care.

There are two things I am hoping to do here: One is alert people to scams that are constantly going on on the internet via emails and web sites such as myspace, as a lot of you know. The second is to say how sad it is people are using “dying” to make money off of people or to get sympathy from people. I found a site www.hoaxbuster.cias.org which lists a few sympathy hoaxes that were flying around the internet. Here are a few :

(Date unknown)
A Little Girl Dying

Here is an example of a chain letter that preys on the sympathy of others. It is a hoax because what it claims is impossible. How can the American Cancer Society possibly know who you sent this to so they can donate 3 cents? Also, you donate to the Cancer Society, not the other way around. American Cancer Society’s comments about the Hoax

You guys….. this isn’t a chain letter, but a choice for all of us to save a little girl that’s going to die of a serious and fatal form of cancer. Please send this to everyone you know…or don’t know at that.This little girl has 6 months left to live her life, and as her last wish, she wanted to send a chain letter telling everyone to live their life to fullest, since she never will. She’ll never make it to prom,graduate from high school, or get married and have a family of her own. By you sending this to as many people as possible, you can give her and her family a little hope, because with every name that this is sent to, the American Cancer Society will donate 3 cents per name to her treatment and recovery plan. One guy sent this to 500 people !!!! So, I know that we can send it to at least 5 or 6. Come on you guys…. and if you’re too selfish to waste 10-15 minutes and scrolling this and forwarding it to EVERYONE, just think it could be you one day….and it’s not even your $money$, just your time. Please help this little girl out guys, I know you can do it!! I love you guys!

December 2001

Every couple of years the “Little Girl Dying” hoax comes back again and this year is no different. The following hoax and picture are making the rounds of the Internet. The picture shows the youngest looking 10 year old I have ever seen. Maybe this should be called the fountain of youth hoax???

Please note that AOL and ZDNET cannot track e-mail and are not in the business of giving away money for chainletters.

Subject: Leukaemia – Please read then Forward

If you delete this … you seriously don’t have a heart.

Hi, I am a 29 year old father. My wife and I have had a wonderful life together. God blessed us with a child too. Our daughter’s name is Rachel, and she is 10 years old.

Not long ago the doctors detected brain cancer and in her little body. There is only one way to save her…an operation. Sadly, we don’t have enough money to pay the price. AOL and ZDNET have agreed to help us. The only way they can help us is this way, I send this email to you and you send it to other people. AOL will track this email and count how many people get it.

Every person who opens this email and sends it to at least 3 people will give us 32 cents.

Please help us.

Sincerely

George Arlington
(this one had a picture of baby with a bow wrapped around it)

Both of these examples had various ways in which they were presented.

But here’s one regarding the World Trade Center which came from www.sophos.com:

The following chain letter is false, and should be deleted. Obviously, the number of times the email is forwarded cannot be counted and no money will be collected.

The text of the chain letter reads as follows:

Please foward this e-mail to as many ppl y0u know, each person you send it to, the red cross will donate 10 cents for mom’s operation!!!!!!!

I’m 11 years old. My mommy worked on the 20th floor in the World Trade Tower. On Sept. 11 2001 my daddy drove my mom to work. She was running late so she left her purse in the car. My daddy seen it so he parked the car and went to give her the purse. That day after school my daddy didn’t come to pick me up. Instead a police man came and took me to foster care. Finally I found out why my daddy never came.. I really loved him…. They never found his body.. My mom is in the the Hospital since then.. She is losing lots of blood.. She needs to go through surgery.. But since my daddy is gone and no one is working.. We have no money .. And her surgery cost lots of money.. So the Red Cross said that.. for every time this email is fwd we Will get 10 cent for my om’s surgery. So please have a heart and fwd this to everyone you know
I really miss my daddy and now I don’t want to lose my
mommy too..

R.I.P. Daddy..(James Thomas)

As long as their are poeple on this planet there will be hoaxes and scams and theses hoaxes and scams proves the point that there’s a sucker born every minute. But what makes these hoaxes and scams an even sadder case is that when someone who is in dire need of money comes along, will we believe them?

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