An Urban Legend is a story that has been told so many times that people start believing it to be true. Many of them are harmless and just caution the reader to be especially careful. The most damage they do is rob us of our valuable time and get us concerned about things that are only a figment of a creative writer's imagination. (For instance, finding hypodermic needles in the seats at movie theaters or in the sandbox at children's playgrounds.)

Others may not be looking for money, but be harmful to businesses that are mentioned. (For instance, claiming that one fast food chain uses horsemeat in its hamburgers, and a chicken chain uses genetically engineered chickens grown with three legs.)

Yet others seek to excite someone so much that s/he shares his newfound fortune with all of his friends. Who hasn't been told that Bill Gates will pay you $1,000 if you will only forward his message on to 10 of your closest friends ... or that Craig Shergold wants to have the most get well cards send to him before he dies of leukemia?

Unless you are superstitious and have a whole lot of time on your hands and friends who do not get mad at you if you fill their email in-box with garbage, we recommend that you simply ignore the good luck chain letters.

If a chain letter requires you to send something of value (especially money), do not participate. If you do, chances are that you are participating in something illegal.

Best yet, visit and see what is real and what is not. In those instances where someone has sent something bogus on to you, be sure to notify them that they have been duped. Sure, it's embarrassing, but perhaps it will make them think twice before they blindly pass on the next one.

Below are some of the more popular hoaxes:

 Abercrombie and Fitch
Al Gore and the Scriptures and Anti-Semitism
Anna Cohen Letter
Are UPS Uniforms Being Bought by Terrorists?
Bananas: Are They Safe?
Bath and Body Works
Blush Spider
Celcom Screen Saver
Cicadas: Are They Really Vicious Killers -- and Can You Earn Money Collecting Them?
Coca Cola for a Month -- Free?
Cyanide Laced Deposit Envelopes
Does KFC Use Real Chickens?
Elf Bowling Virus
Email Tracking Software: RH Power Email Tracker (And Others)
Epilepsy: Will Your Forwarding an Email Save a Life?
Gang Initiations at the Gas Pumps
Gap Gift Certificates
Gas Prices and Gas Boycott
Gasoline Prices: Why Are They So High?
Honda Offers $1000
Inside Edition: The Special on the Epidemic of Abducted Women
Insuring Cigars?
Is AOL Instant Messenger Shutting Down?
Is Hotmail Shutting Down?
Is the Kali Virus Real?
Is the Mirror on the Wall in a Public Bathroom Actually a Two Way Mirror?
Janet Reno: Are You a Cultist??
Klingerman Virus
Lump of Coal
Make A Wish Foundation
McDonalds - Are There Really Hypodermic Needles in the Play Areas?
Microsoft AOL Email Beta Test
Microwave Oven and Water
Missing Children: Can Forwarding an Email Help the Search?
Needles on the Underside of Gas Pumps?
Newell Email
NPR: Will the Supreme Court Decision end the NEA?
Old Navy
Perfume Hoax?
Preven and Walmart
Rat Droppings
Sony Ericsson Free Phone
Spunkball Warning
The Man Without a Face
Tracking Email That's Forwarded
Victoria Secret Gift Certificate
Win a Nokia Cell Phone
Y2Kcount .exe Attachment: Microsoft Year 2000 Counter