These online spoofs and shams have made the rounds on Web sites and through e-mail. Perhaps you even believed one or two of them yourself.
Whether they take the form of a comic image of a giant cat or a desperate plea from a sick child, chain e-mail messages and Internet frauds are elements of the online landscape that we’ve all encountered. No topic is off limits: a medical warning, a promise of free money, or a believably (or shoddily) Photoshopped image. But at the end of the day, they’re just elaborate hoaxes or clever pranks—and we’ve collected 25 of the most infamous ones ever to have graced the Internet or our inboxes.
Though some of these deceptions originated years ago, the originals—and dozens of variants—continue to make the rounds. If you keep a patient vigil over your e-mail, you too may eventually spot a message urging you to FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!! And if you haven’t had enough when you finish reading this article, take a hoax test at the Museum of Hoaxes, and then hop over to Snopes, the premier myth-dispelling site for coverage of zillions of other falsifications.
The Top 25