Top 25 email hoaxes clogging up your inbox

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:30 p.m. ET

We all have that friend, the alarmist who sends email messages of rapists coaxing victims out of their homes with the sound of a crying baby on the front porch, hypodermic needles hidden in the change return slot of pay phones, a water parachutist being eaten by a shark jumping out of the water, and her mother's cousin's best friend's nephew who is missing and/or has cancer and the only thing that will cure him/bring him home is if the email is forwarded to everyone you know.

by Caroline Gutierrez

And without thinking, you forward it to everyone you know. Thanks a lot, guys. Now we have to slog through all this stuff. Before you send it on, take a look at's list of the top 25 web hoaxes -- and check too. If it's listed there, don't send it! Some highlights: the famous Nigerian 419 scams, the giant cat, missing kidneys and Microsoft buying everything and giving away free stuff to readers.