I am surprised at how many of these get forwarded to me. They are easy to spot because they usually:
1) Arrive with a half page of CC Email addresses at top.
2) Urge you to forward the message to all of your contacts.
3) Describes some emergency or noble cause that needs everyone’s immediate attention.
I can assure you that ANY message that asks to be forwarded to everyone on your contact list is a hoax. (So is every request for UPC codes, pull tabs, post cards, etc – but that is another story.) So if you are ever tempted to click “forward”, first copy the key phrase from the message and Google it along with the word “hoax”. There are lists of hoaxes out there just for this purpose.