It’s strange how seemingly insignificant incidents can have a profound effect on your life. Back in 2002, I was still pretty new to computers and the Internet. So, when I got an email urgently warning me about a dangerous computer virus lurking in a “very cute screensaver of the Budweiser Frogs”, I dutifully sent it off to everyone in my address book. After all, so I thought at the time, the information had been announced by none other than software giant Microsoft and the message implored me to send it on to everyone I know.
Of course, the warning turned out to be just another silly virus hoax, like many others that have circulated before and since. A kind contact politely let me know that the message was a hoax. The experience got me intrigued – and a little embarrassed – so I started researching any suspect email forwards that came my way before I sent them on. Inevitably, quite a few turned out to be hoaxes and I was able to let people know the truth about them.
After a while, friends and family began sending me emails to “check” for them. The concept for Hoax-Slayer began there. In 2003, I started a Yahoo email discussion group that focused on Internet hoaxes and scams. Soon after, I created an early version of the Hoax-Slayer website as a support site for the Yahoo group. Later, I closed the group to concentrate on the Hoax-Slayer site and newsletter.
Nowadays, Hoax-Slayer consumes a great deal of my time and the project is very important to me. So, if I hadn’t received that silly old virus hoax, perhaps my life might have been quite different today. But, I’m really glad that I did get that email. I love what I do!
So, all in all, thanks, Mr Budweiser Frog, goodonya, mate! (The beer’s not bad either!)
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!