They started in the days of folklore, and went on to faxlore. And now they're Facebook lore. I refer, of course, to those scare stories that tell us to be careful of stuff that isn't really a threat.
The trouble is, they're so plausible. You read them, and they sound about right - so you resolve never to open an email that has the subject "Dear Mum, why on earth are you not reading my messages?" because they might be from your Son, trying to con you out of twenty quid to go to the White Horse.
But here's a quick roundup of all those current scams. Don't be fooled!
People are running around Milton Keynes carrying dustbins. They ask if you can check your hat size. If you take your hat off, they shove the dustbin over your head and run off with your hat. This happened to a friend of my cousin's in Furzton. Don't lose your hat!
If you take out a mortgage with a bank, they will expect you to pay the interest every month. They are trying to make a profit. They are not, as they pretend, just there to help you own a house.
If you see a large thermometer outside a church, they will be trying to raise money to keep the building up. They are not telling you the temperature - it's not that cold.
When vicars say in sermons that something is true "in a very real sense", they don't really mean it. It's not true at all. Or, at least, not in a real sense. If you're not careful you could end up believing in things that the vicar doesn't.
The line "over the mountains and the sea, your river runs with love for me" was written by global-warming scientists trying to panic the public. There are no rivers running over the mountains and the sea. There may be a river running through the valleys and over the fields, but this is less alarming - at least in a rainy winter.
When somebody phones up, giving large number of details about your upbringing, knowing all about you and saying they're your mother - it's probably your mother. Be very careful.
Anyone who says "that's how I roll" is unlikely to be capable of rotary motion. They are almost certainly square.
People standing in the town centre with a sign saying "Can we pray for you?" will pray for you if you ask them to. They're ruthless like that.
An insurance company is going round, cleverly getting money out of people who think they are contributing to bereaved Caledonian woman. Don't be fooled into thinking Scottish Widows are a charity.
Don't let the poor spelling deceive you. Stationery shops never go anywhere.
If you see a man with a shiny face telling you his banks have lost all their money and you have to help pay it back, he's the Prime Minister. You have little choice for the time being.
The CIA is spying on all of us through listening devices cunningly hidden as daffodils. Take no chances. Dig up all your daffodils. I did, and I know the CIA aren't bugging me in the spring anymore. Because they were all, in fact, daffodils. But I feel much safer knowing that.
If you are approached in the street by somebody saying he's a Freemason, and can he take a photograph of your bottom - run away. He just wants to take a photograph of your bottom, and the freemasonry is a diversion.
If you come across a large building called "Tesco", they will lure you in with shelves full of food. But you will be expected to pay for it when you leave. Do not be suckered in.
Don't let so-called "postmen" put letters through your letter box. They're doing it for the money.
If you receive an email from me, saying I've got a load of money from a Nigerian dictator, please send the cheque to "Archdruid Eileen, The Great House, Husborne Crawley, Beds."
If you receive an email from someone saying that they're a conman, and can they steal your money, don't reply. There's a good chance they're a conman who wants to steal your money.
(And try not to fall for this scam that John the Lutheran has noted)
The whole series inspired by this from @TlfTravelAlerts
And here are some real scams, from the nearly-always-reliable Snopes.com