Here's how to check things out for yourself:
- go to a site that investigates such things... I usually use Snopes.com, as they are the most comprehensive and well-researched*, but I also use
- take a unique word or phrase from the email (an uncommon name, perhaps) and use the Search function on the site to look for it
- read the article
- do a reply-to-all and let everyone know that the message is not correct, and include a link to the article you found
Some people think such emails are harmless, but they aren't: they use up everyone's time, and they increase the amount of lies and false information floating around that people use to form opinions and make decisions, and those opinions and decisions can have a very real negative affect on their lives and the lives of others. Please don't be someone who increases the amount of untruths in the world: check out emails when you get them, and especially before you forward them.
* for those who think Snopes isn't a reliable source, please see:
There is a deliberate campaign going on to discredit Snopes.com, but the site is a good resource.