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How to stop forwarded messages?

Dear Amy: Without insulting my friends, how do I get them to stop sending me these mindless jokes and political statements that have been forwarded to hundreds of people before they reach me?

I resent having my e-mail address added to the mix as others continue to send the messages.

I think it's important to keep in touch with friends, but many seem to only know how to forward e-mail as their way of communicating.

I have been told that scam artists use these huge lists of addresses as contact sources. By cutting and pasting, the lists can be eliminated, but few know this trick.

Do you have an answer to this?

Tired of Forwards

Dear Tired: The best you can do is to make a simple statement to the worst offenders and hope that they understand and respect your wishes. You can say, “I appreciate you being in touch but want you to know that I don't read forwarded messages, so I hope you won't send them in the future. I'm concerned about viruses, etc., and so I routinely delete any messages that have been forwarded to me.''

Think of forwards as unsolicited junk mail that you toss in the recycle bin. Simply press, “delete.''