Wednesday, September 14, 2005 eRumor Report

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:21 PM
courtesy of Rich Buhler

Greetings to our Family of Subscribers and our hearts, prayers, and support go to those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. I was struck with the enormity of the event when I heard that the disaster area is approximately the size of Great Britain. Imagine trying to urgently help the entire population of Great Britain!

We did a survey of our subscribers and about 8 percent of you live in the path of the hurricane, which means that many more subscribers have also been affected because of friends and family.


As we indicated in a special eRumor report sent last week, the crooks, scammers, and low-life of the Internet have come out in force in response to the hurricane. The FBI estimates that there are upwards to 2,500 web site collecting donations for hurricane victims, the majority of which are scams.

RED CROSS EMAIL-One of the sneakiest is an email that looks as though it is from the American Red Cross. It is titled "financial gift to Hurricane 2005 Relief." If you look at it closely, it really looks like a Red Cross page and that is because it really is. If you look at the link in the email closely it actually connects you to the American Red Cross donation page. So what's wrong with it? Once you've clicked it open to read, you've been hit with an attempt to get your personal information for use for identity theft.

ANOTHER RED CROSS EMAIL-This one asks for donations to the American Red Cross but if you look at the link closely it is not going to a Red Cross Site. It is going to a site where crooks want your credit card information. It has the Red Cross logo at the top with the caption "Support the Disaster Relief Fund." It has a form in the middle of the page where you give your credit card information. It also has a VeriSign logo at the lower left-hand corner, which is being used fraudulently.

YET A THIRD RED CROSS EMAIL-The forwarded email claimed that the Red Cross had agreed to give 50 cents per forwarded email for hurricane victims. Another version claimed the Red Cross would donate a penny per email. Both of them are hoaxes. The Red Cross is not doing any such fundraising and as our regular members know, there is no method being used on the Internet to trace forwarded emails for the purpose of compensating anybody. Security experts say the hurricane scam sites went up faster than the scam sites after the tsunami. One of the reasons, they say, is that the National Hurricane Center announces ahead of time what names will be used for tropical storms and some enterprising scam artists actually sign up for web sites in preparation for any bad hurricanes. Some Hurricane Katrina sites were up and running before the storm reached its worst.

Our advice is the same, and you probably get tired of hearing it. Donate only to organizations you know and trust and do not respond to any email solicitations even if they appear to be from an organization you trust. If you get an email saying it is from or about the American Red Cross, for example, go to and search for the American Red Cross and donate through their official site.

SIGN A PETITION TO PRESIDENT BUSH TO LOWER GAS PRICES-This is a grass roots effort and probably a waste of time and energy.

It is an email started by someone who thought it was a good idea but is virtually meaningless. First, it depends on a lot of people to circulate it and then send it at the right time to the right person. Second, this type of petition does not bear the weight and significance of a signed petition. Anybody can create an email and add names to it so a list names doesn't mean much.


It's actually called "Southern Decadence" and is an annual event popular with more than 100,000 mostly gay and lesbian participants. It was planned for August 31 to September 5. Every time there is a natural disaster, there are those who believe that its purpose was to do away with the evil in the areas affected by it. Only God can answer that.


The story is that an employee at a refinery told a friend that he had the inside word that the government was already setting up plans for gas rationing after the hurricane. This eRumor is a classic in that it's about "someone somewhere" who was told by "someone else somewhere." There is no specific information as to what refinery this person worked for, what state he lived in, or what government agency was planning on gas rationing or when. If there is gas rationing, it won't be because of this prediction and at this point rationing has not materialized, just very high gas prices!



The story is that Cindy Sheehan, who has used her son's death as a platform for her anti-war protest outside of President Bush's ranch in Texas, was divorced years ago and that her son was reared by his father.

The eRumor also says that Sheehan is going through a second divorce from her current husband. The only thing true about this story is that Sheehan is being divorced by Patrick Sheehan, her husband of 28-years but she had not been married before and has never before been divorced. She and her current husband reared four children, one of whom was 24-year-old Casey Austin Sheehan, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004.

For more details, go to:
Or click SEARCH at the top of any page and use SHEEHAN as the search term.

Blessings to each of you!

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