Monday, March 2, 2009

Evaluating E-mails, Urban Myths, and Legends

Not too long ago I received a forwarded email that warned me about solicitors being able to contact me via my cell phone. It said that I should contact the Do Not Call Registry to place my cell phone number on the list before a specific date, so telemarketers would not call on my cell phone. From experience I decided to double-check this information on, and I learned that the claim made in the email was "false."

The website even provided examples of the false email, how it originated, and information about cell phone directories. It mentions that cell-phone providers must gain permission from their customers before they can list their cell-phone numbers in a directory. Cell phone users may still choose to put their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry; however, this may not be necessary, because Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations already block nearly all telemarketers' phone calls.

New legislation was passed in 2007 that made it so your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry will not expire after 5 years; this according to the Federal Trade Commission.

How can we trust This site includes hyperlinks to other sites that verify their information, and they also include a list of references with each entry. If you receive emails that detail dire situations and call you to act immediately, then you might consider verifying that information to find out if it is true or false. It might be a rumor.

Of course, it is also important to check out the sources, or the authors of a site to look at its authoritative nature. Barbara and David P. Mikkelson created the website, and you can learn more about them through this Wikipedia article.

No comments: