A virus hoax (or hoax virus) is an email or message that warns you about fake viruses, disasters, illnesses, etc., and asks you to forward the message to more people. It’s harmless, albeit annoying.
What is a virus hoax
Hoax emails and messages are distributed by manipulating people’s feelings. These fake messages warn about highly dangerous computer viruses that are supposedly spreading, and ask the recipient to warn others. Alternatively, they may also ask for help for severely ill people, accident victims, funeral costs, etc. Supposedly, every forwarded message or visit to a website helps generate money, which would be donated to a certain fund. Essentially, cyber crooks manipulate people to spread their infections for them. These hoax emails and messages are harmless as you don’t actually download anything onto your computer, you’re merely forwarding a message. The main goal of these hoax emails is to overload email servers.
Below is an example of a hoax virus.
How to recognize Hoax viruses
- Generally, the messages/emails mention names of large and prominent companies, but do not provide any links to official messages/announcements.
- Another symptom is a description of terrible computer virus consequences, such as complete deletion of information or disc.
- The most obvious sign of the Hoax virus is the request to forward the email/message to as many people as possible.
It’s recommended to be cautious with these kinds of emails. Do not forward it to anyone, warn the person you received it from, and do not open anything that may be attached to the email.