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Classic Spam: The “five reports” chain letter

The chain-letter gag predates e-mail; in fact, it has been around so long that Adam and Eve probably saw it in the back of a copy of “Garden Living” magazine. Originally, the scheme merely required you to send money to people on a list, then place your own name on the list and forward it to others (so they could send bushels of money to you).

It turns out that this was pure and simple mail fraud, so the perps altered the scheme to make it look more like a legitimate exchange of money and goods (it’s still illegal, though). Basically, you are now invited to pay some schmucks for worthless “reports”, and are then left to your own devices to try to get other suckers to buy them from you.

The chain letter racket swamped usenet news groups a few years back, until usenetters developed ways to remove such messages automatically. The chain letters then moved over to e-mail, although since you still have to use postal mail to send the cash, it is still mail fraud. If you’d like to read more about this pathetic racket, visit the Make Money Fast website at http://www.stopspam.org/usenet/mmf/ (which, although oriented toward usenet spamming, does show the scheme in all its variations).

What follows is an old-fashioned low-tech spam mail, evidently designed around the assumption that the longer a message is, the more likely some idiot will be to bite. This note is bloated out with hundreds of bytes of bogus “testimonials” (like the one from Mitchell Wolf, M.D., who in alternate versions of the message has a C.P.A. title, or no title at all) and wide-eyed descriptions of the money you could make, backed up with some arithmetical artistry worthy of the late Arthur Andersen firm.

I once saw this message painstakingly analyzed on the web; the researcher actually traced down the postal addresses shown in the thing and established that they were all somehow connected, suggesting that all of the money you sent might go to the same person (What? Cheating? My God, you can’t trust anyone these days).

You can report these messages to the mail host from which they came, and you can report any e-mail addresses embedded in them (I only counted one here), but generally these are “hit-and-run” mailings, and the perpetrators aren’t dependent upon websites that can be shut down. Like I said, low tech, but low profile.

This message is a bit lengthy, but I’ve annotated (in higlight) some of the more interesting bits:

Dear Friend:
(“Friend” := "sucker")


AS SEEN ON NATIONAL TV:

"Making over half million dollars every 4 to 5 months from your home
for one time investment of only $25 U.S. Dollars"

THANKS TO THE COMPUTER AGE AND THE INTERNET!

Before you say ''Bull" please read the following.

(Too late! I already said "bull", then I said something else right after.)

This is the
letter you have been hearing about on the news lately. Due to the
popularity of this letter on the Internet, a national weekly news
program recently devoted an entire show to the
investigation of this program described below, to see if it really
can make people money.

(hmm...I have the TV-guide listing for this show somewhere...I think it came on between "AbCruncher" and "Psychic Friends Network")

The show also investigated whether or not the program was legal.
Their findings proved once and for all that there are "absolutely NO
Laws prohibiting the participation in the program

(...and no controlling legal authority...)

and if people can follow the simple instructions, they are bound to
make some mega bucks with only $25 out of pocket cost".

(Not true...the best I saw here was about 0.7 mega buck)

DUE TO THE RECENT INCREASE OF POPULARITY & RESPECT
THIS PROGRAM HAS ATTAINED, IT IS CURRENTLY WORKING
BETTER THAN EVER.

(Of course, there was lots of room for improvement.)

This is what one had to say:

(One what?)

"Thanks for this profitable opportunity. I was approached many times
before but each time I passed on it. I am so glad I finally joined
just to see what one could expect in return for
the minimal effort and money required. To my astonishment, I received
total $ 610,470.00 in21 weeks, with money still coming in".
Pam Hedland, Fort Lee, New Jersey.

(She'll need it for her criminal defense fund)

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is another testimonial:
This program has been around for a long time

(you're telling me?)

but I never believed in
it. One day I received this again in the mail and I decided to gamble
my $25 on it. I followed the simple instructions and walla .....

('walla'? What, is he an Arab?)

3 weeks later the money started to
come in. The first month I only made $240.00 but the next 2 months
after that I made a total of $290,000.00. So far, in the past 8
months by re-entering the program, I have made over $710,000.00 and I
am playing it again. The key to success in this program is to follow
the simple steps and NOT change anything.'' More testimonials later
but first,

*** PRINT THIS NOW FOR YOUR FUTURE REFERENCE ***

(I can't print yet, I'm waiting for my discount ink cartridges from InkJetRipoff.com)

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
If you would like to make at least $500,000 every 4 to 5 months
easily and comfortably, please read the following...THEN READ IT
AGAIN and AGAIN!!!
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

FOLLOW THE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW AND YOUR
FINANCIAL DREAMS WILL COME TRUE, GUARANTEED!
INSTRUCTIONS:
**** Order all 5 reports shown on the list below.
**** For each report, send $5CASH, THE NAME & NUMBER OF THE REPORT
YOU ARE ORDERING and YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS to the person whose name
appears ON THAT LIST next to the report. MAKE SURE YOUR RETURN
ADDRESS IS ON YOUR ENVELOPE TOP LEFT CORNER in case of any mail
problems.

(...and in case we decide to add you to our sucker list)

**** When you place your order, make sure you order each of the 5
reports. You will need all 5 reports so that you can save them on
your computer and resell them. YOUR TOTAL COST $5X 5 =
$25.00.
**** Within a few days you will receive, vie e-mail, each of the 5
reports from these 5 different individuals. Save them on your
computer so they will be accessible for you to send to the
1,000's of people who will order them from you. Also make a floppy
of these reports and keep it on your desk in case something happen to
your computer.

****. IMPORTANT -DO NOT alter the names of the people who are listed
next to each report, or their sequence on the list, in any way other
than what is instructed below in step '' 1 through
6 '' or you will loose out on majority of your profits. Once you
understand the way this works, you will also see how it does not work
if you change it. Remember, this method has been tested, and if you
alter, it will NOT work!!! People have tried to put their
friends/relatives names on all five thinking they could get all the
money. But it does not work this way. Believe us, we all have tried
to be greedy and then nothing happened.

(...actually that last sentence summarizes the whole scheme)

So Do Not change anything other than what is instructed. If you do,
this program will not work for you. Remember, honesty reaps the
reward!!!

1.... After you have ordered all 5 reports, take this advertisement
and open it in any word processor program (word perfect, word,
etc...)
and REMOVE the name & address of the person in REPORT # 5. This
person has made it through the cycle and is no doubt counting their
fortune.

2.... Move the name & address in REPORT #4down TO REPORT #5.

3.... Move the name & address in REPORT #3 down TO REPORT #4.

4.... Move the name & address in REPORT #2 down TO REPORT #3.

5.... Move the name & address in REPORT #1 down TO REPORT #2

6.... Insert YOUR name & address in the REPORT #1 Position. PLEASE
MAKE SURE you copy every name & address ACCURATELY!
Save it to use as your updated email!

(...wow, stack operations! You gotta be a computer scientist for this.)

=================================================
Take this entire letter, with the modified list of names, and save it
on your computer. DO NOT MAKE ANY OTHER CHANGES. Save this on a disk
as well just in case if you loose any data. To assist you with
marketing your business on the Internet, the 5 reports you purchase
will provide you with invaluable marketing information which includes
how to send bulk e-mails legally, where to find thousands of free
classified ads and much
more.

There are 2 Primary methods to get this venture going:
METHOD # 1: BY SENDING BULK E-MAIL LEGALLY
============================================
Let's say that you decide to start small, just to see how it goes.
We will assume you and those involved send out only 5,000 e-mails
each. Let's also assume that the mailing receives only a 0.2%
response (the response could be much better but lets just say it is
only 0.2%. Also many people will send out hundreds of thousands
e-mails instead of only 5,000 each). Continuing with this example,
you send out only 5,000 e-mails.
With a 0.2%response, that is only 10 orders for report #1. Those 10
people responded by sending out 5,000 e-mails each for a total of
50,000. Out of those 50,000 e-mails only 0.2% responded with orders.
That's = 100 people responded and ordered Report #2. Those 100
people mail out 5,000 e-mails each for a total of 500,000 e-mails.
The 0.2% response to that is1000 orders for Report #3. Those 1000
people send out 5,000 e-mails each for a total of 5 million e-mails
sent out. The 0.2% response to that is 10,000 orders for Report #4.
Those 10,000 people send out 5,000 e-mails each for a total of
50,000,000 (50 million) e-mails. The 0.2% response to that is 100,000
orders for Report # 5. THAT'S 100,000 ORDERS TIMES $5 EACH =
$500,000.00 (half million).

Your total income in this example is:
1..... $50+
2..... $500+
3..... $5,000+
4..... $50,000+
5..... $500,000.........Grand Total = $555,550.00
NUMBERS DO NOT LIE.

(...but con artists DO)

GET A PENCIL & PAPER AND FIGURE OUT THE WORST
POSSIBLE RESPONSES AND NO MATTER HOW YOU CALCULATE IT, YOU WILL STILL
MAKE A LOT OF MONEY!

(hmm...suppose zero people respond, how much money do I make?)


----------------------------------------------------------------

REMEMBER FRIEND, THIS IS ASSUMING ONLY 10 PEOPLE
ORDERING OUT OF 5,000 YOU MAILED TO. Dare to think for a moment what
would happen if everyone, or half or even one 4th of those people
mailed 100,000 e-mails each or more? There are over 150 million
people on the Internet worldwide and counting. Believe me, many
people will do just that, and more!

METHOD #2: BY PLACING FREE ADS ON THE INTERNET
===================================================
Advertising on the net is very, very inexpensive and there are
hundreds of FREE places to advertise.

(...i.e., lots of usenet groups to spam and lots of dead-end "affiliate" websites to glom onto)

Placing a lot of free ads on
the Internet will easily get a larger response. We strongly suggest
you start with Method # 1 and add METHOD #2 as you go along. For
every $5 you receive, all you must do is e-mail them he Report they
ordered. That's it! Always provide same day
service on all orders. This will guarantee that the e-mail they send
out, with your name and address on it, will be prompt because they
can not advertise until they receive the report.

ORDER EACH REPORT BY ITS NUMBER & NAME ONLY.
Notes: Always send $5 cash (U.S. CURRENCY) for each Report. Checks
NOT accepted. Make sure the cash is concealed by wrapping it in at
least 2 sheets of paper. On one of those sheets of paper,
Write the NUMBER & the NAME of the Report you are ordering, YOUR
E-MAIL ADDRESS and your name and postal address. PLACE YOUR ORDER FOR
THESE REPORTS NOW:
*Remember, postage may vary outside of your own country.

==============================================
Report #1:The Insider's Guide to Advertising for Free on the Net
Order Report #1 from:
J.W.M.
4404 Brandon Lane
Middletown, Ohio 45042
USA

("How to send spam")

====================================
REPORT #2: The Insiders Guide to Sending Bulk e-mail on the Net.
Order report #2 from:
Sheryl Strasser
210 McInoe Street
Wausau, WI 54400
USA

("How to send MORE spam")

====================================
REPORT #3: Secret to Multilevel marketing on the Net
Order Report #3 from:
B.E.W.
118 Princeton Avenue
Elyria, Ohio 44035-5929
USA

("How to send spam and cheat people")

====================================
REPORT #4: How to Become a Millionaire Utilizing MLM and the Net
Order Report #4 from:
Really Works
2913 El Camino Real #563
Tustin, CA 92782

USA

("How to send more spam and cheat more people")

====================================
REPORT #5: How to Send Out One Million e-mails for FREE
Order Report #5 from:
Jerry Craig
8552 122nd Ave. NE
Kirkland, Wa 98033 USA
USA

("How to send even more spam than reports #1 and #2 put together")

(Report #6: how to get a clue -- order from USPS Postal Inspection Service, Washington D.C.)


$$$$$$$$$ YOUR SUCCESS GUIDELINES $$$$$$$$$$$
Follow these guidelines to guarantee your success:
If you do not receive at least 10 orders for Report #1 within 2
weeks, continue sending e-mails until you do.

(...send them from jail if you have to. Sign up with a Chinese spamhaus if you get kicked off of every legit ISP...)

After you have
received 10 orders, 2 to 3 weeks after that you should receive 100
orders or more for REPORT #2. If you did not, continue advertising
or sending e-mails until you do. Once you have received 100 or more
orders for Report #2, YOU CAN RELAX, because the system is already
working for you , and the cash will continue to roll in!
THIS IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Every time your name is moved down on
the list, you are placed in front of a different report. You can KEEP
Track of your PROGRESS by watching which report people are ordering
from you. IF YOU WANT TO GENERATE
MORE INCOME SEND ANOTHER BATCH OF E-MAIL SAND

(...sending batches of sand via e-mail? How's this done?)

START THE WHOLE PROCESS AGAIN. There is NO LIMIT to the income you
can generate from this business!!!
____________________________________________________
FOLLOWING IS A NOTE FROM THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS
PROGRAM:

"You have just received information that can give you financial
freedom for the rest of your life, with NO RISK and JUST A LITTLE BIT
OF EFFORT. You can make more money in the next few weeks and months
than you have ever imagined. Follow the program EXACTLY AS
INSTRUCTED. Do Not change
it in any way. It works exceedingly well as it is now.

("I started it," he says, "and I have no complaints.")

Remember to
e-mail a copy of this exciting report after you have put your name
and address in Report #1 and moved others to #2...........#5 as
instructed above. One of the people you send
this to may send out 100,000 or more e-mails and your name will be on
every one of them. Remember though, the more you send out the more
potential customers you will reach. So my friend, I have given you
the ideas, information, materials and opportunity to become
financially independent.
IT IS UP TO YOU NOW!

************** MORE TESTIMONIALS****************


My name is Mitchell. My wife, Jody and I live in Chicago. She is an
accountant with a major U.S. Corporation and I make pretty good
money. When I received this program I grumbled to Jody about
receiving ''junk mail''. I made fun of the whole
thing, spouting my knowledge of the population and percentages
involved. I ''knew'' it wouldn't work. Jody totally ignored my
supposed intelligence and few days later she jumped in with both
feet. I made merciless fun of her, and was ready to lay the old ''I
told you so'' on her when the thing didn't work. Well, the laugh
was on me! Within 3 weeks she had received 50 responses. Within the
next 45 days she had received a total of $ 147,200.00 all cash!I was
shocked. I have joined Jody in her ''hobby''.
Mitchell Wolf, M.D., Chicago, Illinois

("M.D." stands for "major dumbass")


----------------------------------------------------------------


Not being the gambling type, it took me several weeks to make up my
mind to participate in this plan. But conservative that I am, I
decided that the initial investment was so little that there was just
no way that I wouldn't get enough orders to at least get my money
back. I was surprised when I found my medium size post office box
crammed with orders. I made $319,210.00 in the first 12 weeks. The
nice thing about this deal is that it does not matter where people
live. There simply isn't a better investment with a faster return
and so big''.

Dan Sondstrom, Alberta, Canada

(...is that $319,210.00 in Canadian dollars, Dan?)

----------------------------------------------------------------



I had received this program before. I deleted it, but later I
wondered if I should have given it a try. Of course, I had no idea
who to contact to get another copy, so I had to wait until I was e-
mailed again by someone else.........11 months passed then it luckily
came again...... I did not delete this one! I made more than $490,000
on my first try and all the money came within 22 weeks''.

Susan De Suza, New York, N.Y.

(Susan wasn't checking her mail very often...I get these every couple of weeks)


----------------------------------------------------------------



'' It really is a great opportunity to make relatively easy money
with little cost to you. I followed the simple instructions and
within 10 days the money started to come in. My first month I made
$20,560.00, and by the end of third month my total cash count was
$362,840.00. Life is beautiful, Thanx to Internet''.

Fred Dellaca, Westport, New Zealand

("y0uR w3lcum, KiWi d3wd" says the Internet)


----------------------------------------------------------------


ORDER YOUR REPORTS TODAY AND GET STARTED ON
OUR ROAD TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM!
to be removed mailto:forgetitnow20012000@yahoo.com?Subject=REMOVE



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07727 hits since March 27 2009

Updated: Sat, 06 May 2006