Beware of E-Mail Whopper Warning of Junk Mail Germgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Friday, November 09, 2001
Beware of E-Mail Whopper Warning of Junk Mail Germ
lenty of consumers are sick of junk mail. But now a growing number also are concerned that junk mail will make them sick — literally.
They're worried about an e-mail message that warns several people have been unwittingly infected with "Klingerman virus" after opening gift packages delivered in the mail.
According to the e-mail message, a number of people became ill with a viral infection after handling a sponge contained in a package marked, "A gift for you from the Klingerman Foundation."
Reader Margie Smith forwarded me a copy she received from a friend. "Apparently, this isn't a hoax, and it hasn't hit TV or print news," she said.
The Internet has amazing power to create unfounded alarm.
On the strength of nothing but unsolicited e-mails, even the most sophisticated consumers can become needlessly frightened.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports about the so-called Klingerman virus are unfounded.
"There is no Klingerman virus, and the information in the e-mail notice is untrue," the CDC stressed.
The U.S. Postal Service concurred, noting that there are no confirmed reports of any illnesses relating to an alleged virus by mail.
The rumor first surfaced more than a year ago. It resurfaced early this year, and then took on an even more ominous tone when it was revived for the third time in September, when fears about biochemical attacks escalated following the World Trade Center disaster.
With each incarnation, the e-mail changes slightly. In some, the reference to the Klingerman Foundation is omitted in favor of claims that the National Guard or some other government agency is investigating an unidentified virus being sent through the mail.
While the details vary, the bottom line is the same: It's just a hoax. It's reassuring to know that, but troubling that in these stressful times that anyone would intentionally create unnecessary fear.
If you receive an e-mail warning about any kind of virus being sent through the mail, do me a favor. Delete it — and spare your friends from needless worry.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 2001
I shortcut the whole thing. Any piece of mail I receive, if it has a bulk mail indicia on the envelope, goes immediately into my waste basket, unopened.
-- Uncle Fred (email@example.com), November 10, 2001.
Personally I think Junk mail either electronic or physical is a waste of valuable resources.
I just collect it in a big box an periodically dump it back in the mail! I wonder what they do with it then?
-- Frank (frankly@I_don't_care.com), November 10, 2001.