Urban Legends and Hoaxes
Although urban legends and hoaxes are not usually associated with con artists and frauds, they do however cost consumers their time and mental effort.
People will dwell on them, debate their validity and then perpetuate them like viruses upon the information highway, both verbally and electronically.
They say that the resources wasted on a single false charitable e-mail plea for more e-mails or "get well" cards could feed a city. ( The start of a new urban legend statistic. ) As soon as you add "They say" to a sentence it somehow becomes more factual.
Other sources which focus on, and attempt to verify or dispel, such notions have done, and will continue to do, a much better job of it than us so I will simply provide direct links and search capabilities to their sites if you wish to investigate further.
Internet Hoax - hoax page
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) - article