By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with snopes.com and/or truthorfiction.com for determining whether information received via email is just that: true/false or fact/fiction. Both are excellent sites.
Advice from snopes.com VERY IMPORTANT!!
1) Any time you see an email that says "forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends", "sign this petition", or "you'll get bad luck" or "you'll get good luck" or "you'll see something funny on your screen after you send it" or whatever --- it almost always has an email tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and emails of those folks you forward to.
The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' email addresses to use in SPAM emails or sell to other Spammers. Even when you get emails that demand you send the email on if you're not ashamed of God/Jesus --- that is email tracking, and they are playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your email addresses - just as long as they get them. Also, emails that talk about a missing child or a child with an incurable disease "how would you feel if that was your child" --- email tracking. Ignore them and don't participate!
2) Almost all emails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of email is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers and Spammers -- to validate active email accounts for their own profitable purposes.
You can do your Friends and Family members a GREAT favor by sending this information to them. You will be providing a service to your friends. And you will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam emails in the future!
Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(s) to those types of listing regardless how inviting they might sound! Or make you feel guilty if you don't! It's all about getting email addresses and nothing more.
You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT!
Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later and very possibly a virus attached! Plus, we are helping the Spammers get rich! Let's not make it easy for them!
ALSO: Email petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress or any other organization - I.e. Social security, etc. To be acceptable, petitions must have a "signed signature" and full address of the person signing the petition, so this is a waste of time and you are just helping the email trackers.