Home Archive Yahoo Account Deletion Hoax

Yahoo Account Deletion Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Email claims that if the recipient does not send the message on to at least ten other people his or her Yahoo account will be deleted (Full commentary below).


Subject: Yahoo Accounts DeletionDear YAHOO User

Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to YAHOO, it has come to our attention that we are vastly running out of resources. So, within a month’s time,anyone who does not receive this email with the exact subject heading,will be deleted off our server. Please forward this email so that we know you are still using this account.

We want to find out which users are actually using their YAHOO accounts. So if you are using your account, please pass this e-mail to every YAHOO user that you can and IF YOU DO NOT PASS this letter to anyone we will delete your account.

YAHOO Admin. Dept.

Our YAHOO system is getting to crowded!! We need you to forward this to at least 20 people. I know this seems like a large number, but we need to find out who is really using their account. If you do not send t his to at least 10 YAHOO members, we will delete your account. Sorry for this inconvenience.

Sincerely, Director of YAHOO Services

Detailed Analysis:
According to this email forward, Yahoo is “running out of resources” and is intending to close the accounts of members who do not pass the warning on to at least ten other people. However, this “warning” is entirely bogus and should not be taken seriously. Versions of the hoax that target Yahoo and a host of other online services have circulated continually since the late 1990’s.

Although the colourful gussied up example shown above may seem a smidgen more “official” than some of the more amateurish versions that circulate, it is nonetheless a load of nonsense. Any message that claims that you need to forward an email to a certain number of people in order to retain membership of a service is virtually certain to be a hoax. No legitimate company, including Yahoo, is ever likely to impose such an absurd and uncontrollable requirement on its members.

The following links point to articles debunking other versions of the hoax:

These types of hoaxes are “successful” because they have an effective mechanism for self-propagation built right into their message. Many people forward these messages “just in case they are true”. But, even if only a small percentage of recipients pass them on to ten or more of their friends, the amount of copies circulating can soon escalate into the hundreds of thousands.

Thus, such hoaxes do no more than waste bandwidth, clutter inboxes and make the sender look foolish. Please do not forward them.

Last updated: 28th September 2007
First published: 28th September 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,