I’ve seen a post flying around Facebook (and so have others, thanks to those Naked Security readers who send us tips!) that for all intents and purposes, has its heart in the right place:
When filling out your Christmas cards this year, take ONE CARD and SEND it to this address: A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20307-5001. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these soldiers could get to bring up their spirits! Feel free to repost. This is a wonderful thing to do !!
This sounds so wonderful, doesn’t it? The small problem here is sadly this is a hoax.
The US Postal Service will not accept any mail addressed to “Any Soldier”, “Any Wounded Soldier” etc.
According to Snopes, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center agrees. So while people are well-meaning by reposting this story, the cards would either be returned to the sender or sent to the Dead Letter Office.
This hoax has been around for some time and is well documented, but it seems to come back around every year and clutter the inboxes and feeds of folks.
Now before I’m accused of being a Scrooge, there *is* a legitimate program for those who wish to partake. It’s called “Holiday Mail for Heroes” and is sponsored through the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes.
Don’t forget you should join the Sophos Facebook page, where we not only debunk hoaxes and chain letters, but we also keep you up-to-date on the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening Facebook users.