Business: Companies and Products
The 9/11 Diet Pepsi Can
Online photos show a can of Diet Pepsi manufactured in the Middle East emblazoned with a graphic design Americans find reminiscent of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack.
$10 Surcharge for Pay-at-Pump Gasoline?
Forwarded email claims a customer buying gasoline at a Bloomington, Minnesota gas station was charged an extra $10 for paying at the pump with a bank card.
1954 Mock-Up of 'Home Computer'
Emailed image allegedly taken from a 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics shows the RAND Corporation's conception of what a home computer would look like in 2004.
8mm/VHS Video Cassette Adapter - Does It Exist?
About.com Home Theater Guide Robert Silva explains why you'll never find that elusive 8mm/Hi8/miniDV adapter that supposedly allows you to play smaller-format video cassettes in your VHS machine.
ABC Responds to Viewer Complaint About Gays
When Jim Neugent sent an email to ABC-TV complaining about the depiction of homosexuality in an episode of "The Practice," he got more than he bargained for in response.
Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog Sells 'Group Sex' to Teens
Forwarded email flier urges consumers to protest Abercrombie & Fitch's 2003 'A&F Quarterly' magazine, which features young adults in various stages of undress engaging in 'group sex.'
Allstate Fires Manager for Christian Beliefs on Homosexuality
Email flier from the American Family Association urges recipients to boycott Allstate Insurance Company due to the alleged firing of an employee for expressing 'Christian beliefs' against homosexuality.
Altoids and Oral Sex
Does the "curiously strong" mint really enhance the pleasure of oral sex? This urban legend says it does.
Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer
This false rumor has been thoroughly trounced by medical professionals.
Apocalypse Averted: The Rise and Fall of IDChip.com
From 1999: "IDChip.com" creates apocalyptic hysteria - a cautionary tale for aspiring Net satirists.
Asbestos in Tampons
Toxic tampons? Two versions of this email alert are circulating, one more fraudulent than the other.
"Rabidly inaccurate" email flyer dating from 1995, alleging that NutraSweet causes just about every malady known to humankind.
Bank of America and Illegal Immigrants
Viral email purports to recount an actual exchange between a Bank of America customer service representative and an account holder who wishes to cancel because the bank grants credit to illegal immigrants.
Bar Codes Reveal Where a Product Is Made
Forwarded email claims potentially hazardous products made in China can be identified by examining the first three digits of the bar code on the packaging, which supposedly indicate the country of origin.
Bankruptcies and Gift Cards
2008 email flier lists several companies that have supposedly filed for bankruptcy, warning that gift cards from these businesses won't be valid for much longer.
Barnes & Noble: Racist Obama Book Display (Photo)
Circulating via email, a photo taken of a window of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Coral Gables, Florida featuring a display of Barack Obama books into which a book named 'Monkeys' has been inserted.
Beneful Dog Food Warning
Email flier warns that pet owners in different parts of the U.S. have reported the sudden deaths of dogs who ate Beneful Dog Food purchased at Wal-Mart in December 2006.
Best Buy Ad Celebrates Muslim Holiday, Not Christmas
Forwarded email urges a consumer boycott of Best Buy on the grounds that its advertising recognizes a Muslim holiday but not Christmas.
Best Buy 'Fraud Alert' Email Scam
A forwarded email claiming to be a "Fraud Alert" from Best Buy is actually a scam designed to trick people into divulging their personal information to identity thieves via bogus Websites.
Best Buy Return Policy
Forwarded email recounts a customer's unsatisfactory experience attempting to return merchandise and obtain a cash refund at a Best Buy store.
Bird Flu, Tamiflu and the Donald Rumsfeld Connection
Forwarded email asserts a conspiratorial connection between the worldwide alarm over a possible avian flu pandemic and Donald Rumsfeld's financial interest in the company that patented the antiviral drug Tamiflu.
Invalid "Blockbuster Night" coupon circulating via forwarded email promises free movies, popcorn, and soda through 12/31/2007.
British Airways 'Free Flight' Offer Is a Hoax
New version of a three-year-old old email hoax claims British Airways is giving away free flights to users who forward a promotional chain letter. Don't believe it, the company warns.
Canola Oil Is Hazardous to Your Health... NOT!
Net rumormongers are at it again. This email tale claims that canola, usually touted as one of the healthiest of food oils, is actually toxic to human beings.
Cell Phones Cause Gas Station Explosions
Still unsubstantiated, but 'tis better to be safe than sorry.
Cell Phone Guns
According to this email flier and attached video, law enforcement officials have discovered .22 caliber guns disguised as cell phones being smuggled into western Europe from Croatia.
Cell Phones - Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do
Email flier purports to clue readers in on various 'unknown' tips and tricks for cell phone use.
Chain Letters: 'Free Stuff' for Frequent Forwarders
Can you earn a free car by forwarding an email to all your friends? No. Nor a free computer, a six-pack of beer, an Outback Steakhouse gift certificate, etc.
Charity CEOs Salaries Compared
Email flier compares the salaries of top executives of U.S. charitable organizations.
Cheating at Gas Pumps
Email rumor claims a consumer was cheated by a rigged gas pump while refueling at a BP service station in Cartersville, Georgia
Does a new law called 'Check 21' go into effect on October 28, 2004 which will make floating checks a thing of the past?
The Chevy Nova That Didn't Go
Did Latin American car buyers shun the Chevy Nova because "no va" means "doesn't go" in Spanish? About Guide Gerald Erichsen says nope, that's just an urban legend.
Chicken Head Found in Box of McDonald's Wings
You deserve a beak today!
Citgo Boycott (Venezuela Dictator Vows to Bring Down U.S. Gov't)
Email flier urges Americans to boycott Venezuela-owned Citgo gas stations in response to anti-U.S. statements made by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Citibank Email Scam
Fraudulent email designed to steal personal information sends recipients to a real Citibank Web page but launches a phony pop-up demanding "login" info. Beware!
Click to Donate Free Tampons to Women's Shelters
Email flier touts a Website where users can click to donate free feminine hygiene products to women's shelters around the U.S.
Clothes Dryers: Washing Lint Filter Extends Appliance's Lifespan
According to this email flier, cleaning the lint filter of your clothes dryer with a brush and soapy water on a regular basis will remove residue from fabric softener sheets and extend the appliance's lifespan.
Confidential Business Proposal
Email example of the infamous "Nigerian Scam" letter used by con artists to bilk victims of millions of dollars every year.
'Death Calls' Emit Killer Cell Phone Frequencies
Forwarded emails warn mobile phone users not to accept calls from certain numbers which supposedly transmit high-frequency signals causing brain hemorrhage and death
The Dillard's Thief (The Dead Cat in the Package)
After stealing someone's shopping bag in a department store parking lot, the thief gets the surprise of her life when she opens the bag and finds a dead cat inside.
Discount-Mats.com - Web Retailer's Rude Reply to U.S. Soldier in Iraq
Forwarded email shows rude response sent by online retailer Discount-Mats.com in answer to a product inquiry from an American soldier stationed in Iraq.
Doritos Free Coupons
Circulating via email, a PDF file purporting to contain six coupons issued by Frito Lay for free bags of Doritos tortilla chips.
A 'Do Not Call' List for Cell Phone Users?
Netlore Archive: Email flier warns that a directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published and urges users to enter their cell phone numbers on a federal 'do not call' list to prevent unsolicited calls from telemarketers
Doubletree Hotel Key Cards - Identity Theft
False email rumor claims hotel key cards are routinely encoded with customers' personal information, resulting in identity theft by employees.
Ericsson 'Free Laptop' Chain Letter
Email hoax claims phone manufacturer Ericsson will give away free laptop computers to those who forward the message to at least eight people.
Forwarded email claims Pyrex dishes manufactured in the U.S. during the past 25 years may break or "explode" during use due to changes in its formulation.
Exxon/Mobil Gasoline Boycott (2004)
2004 variant of a chain letter campaign to boycott gasoline from Exxon Mobil (circulating since 2000).
Facebook to Charge $4.99 per Month in 2010?
Online postings claim Facebook will begin charging $4.99 per month beginning in June 2010 and encourage members to visit a website to protest the plan.
'Facebook Is Overpopulated' Chain Letter
Chain letter circulating among Facebook members claims the service is becoming too slow due to overpopulation and members must prove they are "active" by forwarding the message to others.
Febreze Kills Pets
Email rumor alleges that the fabric deodorizer Febreze has been responsible for the deaths of many pets.
Is a crop of fruit spreading the deadly disease necrotizing fasciitis around the world?
Free 411 Calls
True, with a catch: Email flier touts a new free 411 directory assistance service underwritten by advertisers.
French's Mustard: Statement About France
This statement, allegedly from the manufacturer of French's Mustard, claims the product is not French and has nothing in common with the country of France ... aside from being yellow.
Good to the Last Dropping
Is there really a type of coffee - called "Kopi Luwak" - made from beans eaten, partially digested and excreted by a breed of Indonesian civet cat?
Glade Plug-In Air Fresheners a Fire Hazard
Email flier alleges that plastic plug-in air fresheners pose a serious fire hazard.
Hand Sanitizer Hazardous to Children
Forwarded email warns of the danger of children licking or eating hand sanitizer, which contains a high percentage of alcohol and can cause accidental intoxication or alcohol poisoning
Heroin Needle Kills Child in McDonald's Ball Pit
The "Kevin Archer" story, curiously similar to 1998's tall tale about snakes in a Burger King ball pit.
Email fliers urge boycott of Hershey Co., which has lately announced worker layoffs in U.S. plants while outsourcing jobs to new facilities in Mexico.
The Hunger Site - Is It Legit?
Update: The Hunger Site went down in July 2001 when its parent company went out of business, but as of the end of August 2001 it has returned under new ownership...
'I Buy Strays' Website
Ibuystrays.com purports to offer cash for unwanted pets to be resold to companies engaged in animal experimentation.
Is Mountain Dew a Contraceptive?
No, but this urban legend has certainly not hurt the popularity of the soft drink.
Japanese Fashion Craze: Fake See-Through Skirts
In which we are asked to believe that Japanese women are proudly wearing skirts imprinted on the outside with trompe l'oeil panties.
Lead in Lipstick
Email flier claims name-brand lipsticks contain 'cancer-causing' lead and that consumers can test for its presence in products by scratching them with a 24K gold ring.
Listerine Mosquito Control
Forwarded email claims spraying an outside area with Listerine mouthwash repels and/or kills every mosquito in the vicinity
Marine Veterans Snubbed at Cracker Barrel Restaurant
Forwarded email recounts an incident at Cracker Barrel restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee in which a member of the Marine Corps League was denied permission to play patriotic songs on his bagpipes in honor of Memorial Day.
Lowe's Selling American Flag Doormats?
Online rumor expresses outrage on behalf of veterans based on claims that Lowe's home improvement stores offer American flag doormats for sale.
Marks & Spencer / Persimmon Homes Voucher Hoax
Chain letter claims recipients will receive a free gift voucher from Marks & Spencer and Persimmon Homes if they pass the message along to at least eight other people.
McDonald's to Import South American Beef
An email call to boycott McDonald's restaurants on the grounds that the company plans to import beef from South America.
McDonald's to Import South American Beef (Canada)
An email call to boycott McDonald's restaurants in Canada on the grounds that the company plans to import beef from South America.
Is McDonald's the world's largest purchaser of cow eyeballs, or have we been fed another fast food urban legend?
The McPus Sandwich
Hold the mayo!!
Mentos + Coca-Cola = Death
Email rumor claims two boys in Brazil died after eating Mentos and drinking Coca-Cola at the same time.
Microsoft Xbox Giveaway
Email promises a free Xbox gaming console to 'lucky winners' in a 'promotional competition' supposedly affiliated with Microsoft. The latter denies any knowledge of it.
The Microwaved Pet
An elderly woman comes up with a novel way to dry off her soggy poodle in a hurry. Don't try this at home!
Microwaved Water Explodes in Man's Face
Email warns of a little-known hazard of using microwave ovens.
MONDEX: Mark of the Beast
Emailed slide show claims that microchips used in Mondex 'smart cards' are being implanted in people's hands or foreheads and constitute the 'mark of the beast' prophesied in the Biblical Book of Revelation.
The Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
Would you pay $250 for a chocolate chip cookie recipe?
Nike Terrorism Ad
A phony Nike ad showing a bloody sneaker lying intact on the pavement after a terrorist attack bears the slogan, "You may not survive the blast, but your shoes will."
Personal Computer in a Pen
Emailed images purport to show a "computer of the future," a full-featured PC comprising five slender objects the size and shape of ball-point pens.
Oscar Mayer Refuses to Send Hot Dogs to Marines
Forwarded email urges 'patriots' to boycott Oscar Mayer hot dogs because the company allegedly refused to ship its products to U.S. Marines stationed in Iraq
Otto Titzling, Inventor of the Brassiere
The sad, apocryphal story of Otto Titzling, unheralded inventor of the modern brassiere
Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins - Melamine Contamination Warning
TRUE: Sherwood Brands Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins imported from China may contain deadly melamine and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has warned the public not to eat, distribute or sell the candy.
Prescription Drug Pricing
Email flier purporting to originate from U.S. government budget analysts blames inflated prescription drug prices on price gouging by pharmacies.
Pizza without the 'P'
Questions and answers about "dreadful contaminations."
Pressing the 'Clear' Button at the Gas Pump
Forwarded email advises service station customers to press the 'clear' button after using a debit or credit card at the gas pump so subsequent users won't be able to 'piggyback' charges on their accounts.
Procter & Gamble Loves Satan!
An update on devilish rumors that have haunted Procter & Gamble for two decades.
Propane Tank Warning
Email alert warns purchasers of propane tanks to avoid buying tanks with blue or green residue around the valve, an indication they may be contaminated with anhydrous ammonia.
Sainsbury's Gift Voucher Chain Letter
Email hoax claims recipients will receive a free Sainsbury's gift voucher if they forward the message to 10 other people.
Sears Maintains Benefits for Military Reservists
TRUE. Sears, Roebuck & Co. maintains full job benefits and partial pay for military reservists called to active duty for the Iraq war.
Sexually Explicit PUMA Ads
Germany-based sports shoe manufacturer PUMA AG says a pair of pictorial "ads" currently circulating on the Internet and featuring sneaker-clad adults engaged in an apparent sex act are "unauthorized," "appalling," and utterly fake.
Shampoo Cancer Warning
This chain letter falsely claims that sodium laureth sulfate, an ingredient found in some brand-name shampoos, is carcinogenic.
Shoes: Latest Fashions from Japan and Italy?
Emailed photos of extremely uncomfortable-looking high-heel and platform shoes, allegedly the "latest fashions" from Japan and Italy.
The Snake in the Store
Trying on a coat made in a foreign country can kill you!
Snakes Kill Child in Burger King Ball Pit
Email warns of baby rattlesnakes hiding in restaurant playgrounds.
Starbucks vs. Israel
Is it true that specialty coffee chain Starbucks has closed all its stores in Israel, while still doing business in surrounding Arab countries?
Starbucks Refuses to Donate Coffee to U.S. Marines
Email flier accuses Starbucks of refusing to donate free coffee to U.S. Marines on the, er, grounds that the company is against the Iraq war "and anyone in it."
Store Closings and Gift Cards
Forwarded email purports to list current and future retail store closings by major U.S. companies due to the economic downturn, and advises consumers to redeem gift cards and gift certificates sooner rather than later.
Superglue: Its Uses and Abuses
As befits a modern miracle invention, tales of Superglue pranks and mishaps loom large in contemporary folklore.
Swiffer WetJet Is Toxic to Pets
Forwarded email claims that the Swiffer WetJet disposable floor cleaner contains a substance toxic to dogs and cats.
Taco Bell or Taco Hell?
From your About.com Guide: Cockroach egg tacos – another bogus entry in the annals of contaminated fast food horrors.
Target Bans Salvation Army Bell Ringers
Email fliers criticize Target Corporation for not allowing Salvation Army bell ringers on their premises at Christmas time.
T.G.I. Friday's 'Free Entree' Coupons
Circulating via email, a sheet of counterfeit printable coupons promising free entrees at T.G.I. Friday's to the bearer.
Tim Hortons Coffee Contains Nicotine
Email rumor claims Tim Hortons Coffee contains nicotine and poses a danger to smokers or those who are allergic to nicotine.
Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do
Email flier purports to clue readers in on various 'unknown' tips and tricks for cell phone use
Tommy Hilfiger: Racist?
Did the hippest fashion designer of the '80s really say those horrible things on Oprah Winfrey's show?
Tyson Foods Replaces Labor Day with Muslim Holiday
Forwarded emails say a Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Tennessee has dropped the traditional Labor Day holiday in favor of a paid day off on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
A Tootsie Pop Mystery
Where did the rumor come from that you could get a free Tootsie Roll Pop if you found a star (or an Indian) on your wrapper?
Trademark of the Beast
Decades-old rumors of 'Satan worship' by the owners of Procter & Gamble still circulate online
U.S. Bank Email Scam
Spam email masquerades as a message from U.S. Bank requesting personal information from its customers. Don't bite!
Vicks VapoRub on Soles of Feet Relieves Coughing
Forwarded email claims that coughing in children can be stopped "100% of the time" by applying Vicks Vaporub to the bottoms of their feet and covering them with socks at bedtime.
Wal-Mart Cash Back Scam
Email rumors claim cashiers at Wal-Mart and other retail stores routinely steal money from customers by surreptitiously triggering the "cash back" option during credit or debit card transactions.
Wal-Mart Check Copying Scam
Emailed alert written on Louisiana Dept. of Public Safety stationary warns of a 'multi-city' check copying scam run by a ring of Wal-Mart employees
Wasp Spray for Self-Defense
Forwarded email recommends using wasp spray instead of pepper spray for self defense because, allegedly, it's more effective and works at a greater distance.
Wal-Mart Flip Flops Cause Skin Reaction (Photos)
Emailed images show skin rash caused by Chinese-made rubber flip flops purchased at Wal-Mart.
Waterproof Sunscreen Causes Blindness in Children
Recycled 1998 warning alleges that children have gone blind due to exposure to waterproof sunscreens.
'World's Largest Pink Ribbon' to Be Built with Post-It Notes
Email flier announces the building of the "World's Largest Pink Ribbon" on a billboard in Times Square by the 3M Corporation.
Xerox 'Let's Say Thanks' Web Site
VALID: Email fliers tout the Xerox Corporation's "Let's Say Thanks" Web site allowing citizens to send free cards to U.S. troops overseas.
Zicam Cold Remedy Warning
Anonymous email alert blames zinc-based nasal cold remedy Zicam for cases of anosmia (loss of the sense of smell).
Is Coca-Cola an effective spermicide? Did it get its name from the fact that cocaine was one of its original ingredients? Things go better with the truth!
Does Spam Taste Like Human Flesh?
Who but Cecil Adams could definitively answer this perennial puzzler? See the second item on the page.
Kentucky Fried Rat
The question is, how did it make its way out of the Coke bottle and into the deep fat fryer?
Pop Rocks and Soda Cause Your Stomach to Explode
"A kid ate 6 bags of pop rocks at a party. He then proceeded to drink a 6-pack of Pepsi. The two substances combined in his stomach and exploded, killing him horribly..."
Spider Eggs in Bubble Yum
More than 20 years and $100,000 worth of PR later, the Bubble Yum legend is still with us.
Worm Meat at McDonald's?
The irony is that wormburgers would cost a lot more than plain old beef!
CFL Light Bulbs a Fire Hazard?
Forwarded email claims CFL light bulbs made in China pose a greater fire hazard when used in the home than regular incandescent light bulbs.