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Classic Spam: Chain letter, again

As we have seen, the classical chain letter scam, while fraudulent, keeps a relatively low net profile: the perps depend upon sending cash money through postal mail, which keeps the enterprise below the postal inspectors’ radar for the most part. At worst, the mailer of such a scam might get his e-mail access terminated, but since he’s already sent the messages this may not be much of a setback.

The sad individuals involved in this particular variation, however, were even more stupid than they were greedy and lazy (if that’s possible), since they opted to use the PayPal service to receive the money. Not only does PayPal explicitly prohibit such activity (see their terms-of-service page), but the crooks have also thereby revealed their e-mail addresses (DOH!), so that both PayPal and their ISPs know exactly where to drop the hammer.

Like other versions of the chain letter, this one purports to offer “goods” (a presumably worthless text on “Million-Dollar E-Mails”) such that the racket is technically an exchange of money for goods and not a pure (and illegal) chain mail. Also, like other chain letters, this one is rather extravagant, if inconsistent, in its claims of financial return: is it $2625 in 3 days, or $10,000 tomorrow? And, is that in U.S. or Canadian dollars (since there seem to be a number of Canadians with their fingers in this particular pie)?

The mail appears to originate from an address within the ISP domain of optonline.net, a service of the cable TV provider Cablevision; the HELO name is forged as “MyHomePC,” which of course is not a valid mail host name.

From: Return-Path: hidden
Received: from MyHomePC ([]) by mta001.verizon.net
  (InterMail vM. 201-253-122-126-109-20020611) with ESMTP
  id <20021101140557.GGJO16478.mta001.verizon.net@MyHomePC>
  for hidden; Fri, 1 Nov 2002 08:05:57 -0600
Message-ID: <41151-2200211511469467@MyHomePC>
From: hidden
To: hidden
Subject: See how you can receive $2625 in your PAYAPL Acct. in 3 days!
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 09:06:09 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Get $10,000 from PAYPAL TOMORROW!!!

I could use $10,000 FREE, couldn't you???

Follow the very simple instructions below and in a few days
you will have around $10,000 as the response rate is HUGE
due to the tiny investment required and the MASSIVE potential=2E
We believe the return rate is currently as good as 60-75% !

You could do this as often as you like, I'll explain how
simple it is=2E

Log into your paypal account, and send $10 dollars to :-

>>NEXT DUE: Turbo7@aol=2Ecom
Who is currently the next person in line=2E=20
Select "service" as payment type
and put "E-Book Million Dollar E-Mails" in the subject line=2E

You can get a paypal account=20
at: https://www=2Epaypal=2Ecom=2E

Next go to:
and receive your product: E-Book: "Million Dollar E-Mails" with free resal=
e rights=2E
That way you have the right to re-sell it for $10 to anyone you forward th=
is mail to=2E
When someone receives this product, they, the "End Consumer", have a produ=
for their $10 payment!
Just Like You!

FORWARD this Email to Your List of E-Mails Addresses=2E
Everyone that you possibly know=2E
(Each Name you add could result in $350=2E00 to $500=2E00 in Payments!)
But first Edit the text as follows!
>>Move this address :-

PENDING: SignNdrive@aol=2Ecom
up into the "NEXT DUE" slot=2E

Then put your own E-mail address
into the "PENDING" slot=2E

Now SEND the mail to as many prospects as you feel

Having done this once, you'll see how easy it is=2E
ONLY PAY to the first person on the list=2E

And DONT cheat!
If you cheat and send to 100 prospects with yourself in NEXT DUE,
you might see $300=2E
But when you are in the pending slot, you will go into the next due slot
on all 100 of the 100 E-mails that you send out!
(That's $10,000 instead of 100 with your name in the next due slot
if you don't cheat!
See how the math works=2E It's a matrix! WOW!)
That means $30,000!!!!!

If you follow the instructions correctly, then in ONE or TWO
days (it's fast!) you should receive product purchases from around
1000 - 2000 people! ($10,000 - $20,000!)
You do nothing=2E They Download the Product on line while you
check your E-mail for Money!

With only 2 names in your branch you can expect it to happen
VERY quickly!

You may do very well, you may only do reasonably well, but
you KNOW you will get your ten dollars back !!

That's only ONE reply from around 25000 with your name in
"NEXT DUE", isn't it?

What would happen if you mailed 500 prospects?

You can do this again, and again, and again=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E


This is not a chain letter=2E You can refer to title 18,
Section 1302 of the Postal and Lottery Code=2E
You are selling a product with free resale rights!

Please add your comments before resending!

:- YOUR comment here=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E=2E
It's only $10 what can it hurt=2E

:- $10 ! I'm game! johannalasell@shaw=2Eca

:- This does work=2E I signed in and I'm nobody's fool!!

Get $10,000 from PAYPAL TOMORROW!!!

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Updated: Sat, 06 May 2006