Here's one I got this morning.
IF A PERSON CALLED SIMON ASHTON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CONTACTS YOU THROUGH EMAIL DON'T ACCEPT HIM. DELETE HIM
BECAUSE HE IS A HACKER!!
TELL EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST
ADDS HIM THEN YOU WILL GET HIM ON YOUR LIST. HE WILL FIGURE
OUT YOUR ID COMPUTER ADDRESS, SO COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE
TO EVERYONE EVEN IF YOU DON'T CARE FOR THEM AND FAST BECAUSE
IF HE HACKS THEIR EMAIL HE HACKS YOUR MAIL TOO!!!!!...
PASS ON TO ALL YOUR ADDRESSES !!!
Well the multiple exclamation marks should have been a warning for a start. But a quick Google of "SIMON ASHTON (email@example.com)" revealed this warning for what it was - a hoax.
Here's what Hoax Slayer.com has to say about it.
I can only assume that the idiots who start these scares do it purely to see how many people they can catch out as there's no other point in it.
It took me all of 20 seconds or less to debunk this one and pass the info back to my friend and if everyone took the time then these things would be stopped a lot sooner.
I'm not saying that there aren't real threats out there - there are. But Googling will also show up the genuine threats.
So let's use this thread to try and debunk some of these hoaxes. After all that's how Snopes.com got started.