Hoaxes are false emails being distributed as widely as possible to fool the largest number of Internet users, who believe they are helping others or serve a good cause. Unlike viruses, hoaxes don't represent a software threat your PC. But instead may affect the novice user in other ways:
The loss of credibility of crucial information sent by mail.
The flooding of mail boxes.
Considered as Spam (useless traffic)
Damage the reputation of a person, corporation, association
How to fight against hoaxes
It is easy enough to fight against this type of threats:
When you receive an email asking to be widely distributed, you can check if it is an hoax, via:
Make a search, based on the content of mail (a significant part of the mail, the name of a person, company or association). If the mail appears in the search results as a hoax, delete it from your inbox.