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{}   *Top Nine E-mail Hoaxes* 


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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is here! ($13.95)

Visit the link below to preview the book!  Personalized autographed copies are available at no extra charge and we pay the shipping for you!  An E-book version is also available for just $3.25!

Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.Credit card, PayPal, Checks, and Money orders accepted! The book is also available through,,, and


The Top Nine E-mail Hoaxes


Income taxes are optional, Neiman Marcus has an expensive cookie recipe and more financial fictions that crowd in-boxes. These e-mail hoaxes are designed for one thing: to drain your wallet.

Ever wondered if anyone makes the money promised in those work-at-home advertisements? Or if each forwarded e-mail will really mean a donation of 10 cents from Microsoft to an orphan's organ-transplant operation? The answer is no. These stories are urban legends, e-mail hoaxes and scams. They are but a few of what we like to call financial fiction. The following are some of the most popular and most creative e-mail hoaxes waiting in in-boxes.

Neiman Marcus' expensive cookie recipe:

Here's what happened. My Aunt Cynthia was having lunch at Neiman Marcus with my cousin. For dessert, they had these delicious cookies and my aunt asked the waitress for the recipe. The waitress said they the recipe sold for "two fifty." My Aunt thought that meant $2.50 said OK. But when she got her bill they charged her $250. She was furious but they wouldn't refund her money. So in revenge, she's giving away the recipe to anyone who wants it.

Can you believe that? You can? Well, it never happened. But this has been circulating for decades. A similar story about a $25 red velvet cake recipe has been traced as far back as the 1940s. If you want the cookie recipe, Neiman Marcus has gotten so sick of the bad press from this email hoax that the company posted the recipe on its Web site.

Forwarded e-mail for money or donations:

Microsoft and Disney are both beta-testing an e-mail tracker and will send you money if you forward this e-mail. The Gap is testing an e-mail tracker and will send you a gift certificate. The Red Cross is using its e-mail tracker and will donate money for some poor kid's operation or to raise funds for an orphan of Sept. 11.

If you believe any of these stories, I have some bad news for you. There is no such thing as an e-mail tracker. Coke won't send you free cans. Gerber won't send you savings bonds. Cracker Barrel won't send you gift certificates. A Britney Spears' video won't pop up as the result of you forwarding an e-mail. And AOL has a public relations department that gets news out a lot more efficiently than any chain mail ever could. You get nothing but the embarrassment of knowing that everyone you forward this e-mail to will think you're a fool.

Nigerian scam letter:

Greetings, sir. I got your e-mail address from a very confidential source -- the Internet. I am the prince, minister and Grand Poo-ba of one of many foreign nations that you stupid Americans have never heard of. There is a billion, kazillion dollars in an account here that rightfully belongs to my family and my people. Due to some horrid-bloody military coup in which my entire family, several accountants and various goats lost their lives, I cannot reach this money. But you, an American who has never heard of my country, can march right into the corner branch of Forsaken-War-Torn-East-of-Nowhere-Africa and deposit this money right into your fat American bank account. For your trouble, I'll give you a few million off the top -- because what's a few million between confidential best friends who have never actually even heard of one another?

OK, let's start from the top. Do not kid yourself. You are not so important that the High Priest of Anywhere will e-mail you requesting help. Rid yourself of your delusions of grandeur -- or as we say back home, you may sing "What A Wonderful World" into your hairbrush every night, but that doesn't make you Louis Armstrong.

Here's what will happen when you give strangers your bank account information: They will take your money. Period. End of story. You get nothing, but you lose a lot.

Work at home:

Old scam, new format. You should immediately run from anyone who promises lots of money for little work that requires no experience. While there are companies that allow their employees to work from home, they require job skills and interviews, just like regular jobs. Work-at-home scams will ask you to purchase supplies and equipment from them to perform the "job." That's how they make their money. You will lose -- not make -- money.

You won! And you didn't even enter!

How can you take anything seriously that uses so many exclamation marks?!!!!! Guess what!!!!! You didn't win anything!!!! These people will try to finagle money out of you by saying you need to pay taxes or fees to collect your prize!!!!! Or they will give you a free trip that requires you to buy very expensive airline tickets through their agency!!!! Don't be a fool!!!!!

You'll receive $5,000 for sending $25:

Here's how it works. Send $5 to the five people on the list or to the address that will send you the "reports." In return for your money you'll get -- nothing -- because this is a scam. Well, maybe you'll get something -- a conviction for mail fraud because this is illegal.

Tricking the traffic court:

The Web-watching site reports that a rumor is currently circling e-mails accounts claiming that there's a sneaky way to keep a traffic ticket off your driving record: pay a little more than the amount on the ticket. The court will send you a refund check. If you don't cash the check, the computer won't mark your case as closed and the ticket will never show up on your record. This idea is great in theory, lousy in reality. It doesn't work. Here's a way to keep tickets off your record that does work: slow down.

Tax or long-distance charges on e-mail:

You got a forwarded e-mail from your friend that says you will soon be charged for your long-distance e-mails, just like you are charged for long-distance phone calls. Oh, really? And what will the phone company use to compute your bill -- its e-mail tracker? Calm down. No one is going to charge you long distance for your e-mails. This is an e-mail myth.

Clinton got rid of the IRS -- no more taxes:

That sneaky Bill Clinton -- did you know that he got Congress to pass secret legislation that would forgive all debts and abolish the Internal Revenue Service? Alan Greenspan was going to announce it on Sept. 11, 2001 but didn't because of the terrorist attacks. Oh, wishful thinking -- or maybe not. A move like that is the equivalent of tossing what's left of our economy into a vast financial toilet and flushing with the combined might of the National Football League. In the plausible department, this rumor, reported by, is right up there with alien cattle mutilations  -- completely ridiculous.


Thought For The Day:

"Men are not influenced by things, but by their thoughts about things." --Epictetus

Verse for the Day:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." --Philippians 4:8

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Eat chocolate chip cookies and french fries while they are still warm."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida at the earliest opportunity. --Dave Berry

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Many men fail because they quit too soon. They lose faith when the signs are against them. They do not have the courage to hold on, to keep fighting in spite of that which seems insurmountable. If more of us would strike out and
attempt the "impossible," we very soon would find the truth of that old saw that nothing is impossible...Abolish fear and you can accomplish anything you wish. --C. E. Welch

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words. If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world." --Tom Clancy

Deep Thought For The Day:

"All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of one small candle."


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Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
Check out my video production business
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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?


Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with!


A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions.  An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $3.25 (No other charges), as compared to $13.95 for the print book. Plus your EBook will arrive the same day you order it and you can begin reading the stories right away!

EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that is already on your computer. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this link to order the EBook version of Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter."
Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!

Touching Lives - One E-mail at a Time!
Author Michael T. Powers - HeartTouchers @
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