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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    What's the purpose of Chain Letters?!

    Since I started using the internet back in 1999, and I see a lot of Chain Letters going around. Some of them have NO purpose what so ever!

    I never understood this! Why would someone spend great deal of time writing and spreading a chain letter just to get people to forward it to their friends??

    Here is one I got today

    Code:
     I'm an attorney, and I know the law. This thing is for 
    real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their 
    promises for fear of facing a multimillion dollar class action suit 
    similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too 
    long ago. 
     
    Dear Friends, 
    Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates 
    is 
     sharing his fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. 
    Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an 
    effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely 
    used 
    program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. 
    When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can 
    and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week 
    time period. For every person that you forward this e-mail to, 
    Microsoft 
    will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that 
    forwards 
    it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that 
    receives it, you will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft 
    will 
    contact you for your address and then send you a cheque. 
    Regards. 
    Charles S. Bailey 
    General Manager Field Operations 
    ** number removed **
    ** number removed **
    ** I removed the email address ** 
    > > > > > 
    I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks after 
    receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on, 
    Microsoft contacted me for my address and within days, 
    I 
    received a cheque for US $24,800.00. You need to respond before the 
    beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this Bill Gates is the 
    man. 
     It's all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many 
    people 
    as possible. You are bound to get at least US$10,000.00. We're not 
    going 
    to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little 
    something for our time. My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few 
    months ago. When I went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She 
    showed 
    me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid In 
    Full". Like I said before, I know the law, and this is for real. 
    Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger which would 
    make them the largest Internet company and in an effort make sure that 
    AOL remains the most widely used program, Intel and AOL are running an 
    e-mail beta test. 
    When you forward this e-mail to friends, Intel can and 
    will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week 
    time 
     period. 
    For every person that you forward this e-mail to, 
    Microsoft will pay you $203.15. For every person that you sent it to 
    that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $156.29. And for every 
    third person that receives it, you will be paid $17.65. Within two 
    weeks, Intel will contact you for your address and then send you a 
    check. I thought this was a scam myself, but a friend of my good 
    friend's Aunt Patricia, who works at Intel, actually got a check of 
    $4,543.23 by forwarding this e-mail. 
    Try it, what have you got to lose???? 
    > > > > >
    Obviously, the above is a scam! But why? Why do these people get?

  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The purpose of chain letters is to annoy as many people as possible in as little time as imaginable.

    Chain letters exist because as a whole, people are gullible and stupid. They believe what they read and so they must forward it.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cinders117's Avatar
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    Without reading that email cuz it's probably like all the rest...
    -What ifs...although, really, they should no there isn't a remote chance, not to mention the technology isn't there like the emails claim.
    -Fear...not that they sound the least bit conviencing
    -Cuz everyone else is doing it...although they've probably seen that email for the 5th time already.

    I've been known to send links back to articals and stuff about how the thats a chain letter and even the company said it was a hoax.

  4. #4
    + platinum's Avatar
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    because people think they work
    We as a community are fairly well off in knowing about the internet/computers, but there are a lot of lusers p) out there who think that they might well see a "magical" surprise if they send to 5 people! (even though the origonal email has no way of knowing).

  5. #5
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    It's just stupid...it's always 'but my mate Dave' and 'well, my aunty Susan' or 'and then, Grandma mentioned'...never any 'take a look at MSN.com/betatesting/register...'
    It also relies on people being dumb...hell, some people believe the Nigerian stuff.

  6. #6
    Your sister is hott! Sla's Avatar
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    I usually reply back

    "Sent me this crap again, and I'll use my RJ-45 connection to the internet backbone server to DoS your computer so you can't turn it on and hack into computer networks and crash planes into your house"...of course, it's all BS, but they know nothing about computers, so they don't know any better when you start throwing random technical terms around.

    Sometimes I even make fun of them...send it back all edited and stuff...especially the ones that you get on AIM that are like, "I am a 2 year old girl and f you don't send this to 40257890237562385762352836725 ^ 74 people in 1 second, my spirit will come to you at midnight tonight and kill you because I died four million years ago."

  7. #7
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sla
    I usually reply back

    "Sent me this crap again, and I'll use my RJ-45 connection to the internet backbone server to DoS your computer so you can't turn it on and hack into computer networks and crash planes into your house"...of course, it's all BS, but they know nothing about computers, so they don't know any better when you start throwing random technical terms around.
    If you live in the United States, such replies can be taken as terrorist threats and you will then be arrested as a terrorist. Your computer and possibly home (even if it belongs to your parents) will be confiscated and sold to pay for the government's costs involved with your trial.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  8. #8
    Your sister is hott! Sla's Avatar
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    Good point...

    Note to self: Tone down chain-letter replies


    "My intellegence has dropped 5 points for reading this e-mail. May God have mercy on your soul." (Bonus points if you know what movie )

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict 95 Degrees's Avatar
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    I think that the purpose of chain letters is to prove that otherwise sane, diligent and sensible friends/family of ours will go completely ga-ga and are even willing to be labelled chain-letter senders when promised someting outrageously good, amazingly attractive or lucky beyond reason - "just in case"

    I constantly shake my head when I see who actually sends these things to me!! You;d just never believe these people actually think it may not be scam!!
    95 Degrees

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast Option1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinders117
    ... I've been known to send links back to articals and stuff about how the thats a chain letter and even the company said it was a hoax.
    So have I, but it doesn't even slow 'em down. They still freakin' send 'em......aaaaaaaarrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Actually, the really funny thing is that half the time I'm sure they believe the chain letter rather than the links/quotes I've sent them.

    I think the only solution is to divorce all my relatives, parents, siblings, etc and change my email address. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Neil

  11. #11
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    My mother used to send me all sorts of chain letters, jokes, hoaxes and virus warnings. My email box was flooded with them. Then friends of my mother started sending me the same thing. Eventually, I started deleting anything they (including my mother's) sent me. One day, my mother asked if I read the latest joke she sent me. My response was, "Nope, I don't read your emails and have them deleted automatically. I had asked you in the past to not send me these chain letters, hoaxes, virus warnings and jokes because it is overburdening. Since you didn't heed my request, I set my computer up to delete them automatically.". So she goes, "What if it is an important message?", to which I replied, "You can call me on the telephone."

    Now even though her email address is no longer blocked, she doesn't send me anymore of the garbage. I know I probably hurt her feelings briefly with my response but I was getting literally 100 messages a day from her and 999 out of 1000 were plain garbage.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  12. #12
    Your sister is hott! Sla's Avatar
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    I have my e-mail set up to block all emails that have this at the beginning of the subject:


    "FWD:"

  13. #13
    ********* Member website's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    If you live in the United States, such replies can be taken as terrorist threats and you will then be arrested as a terrorist. Your computer and possibly home (even if it belongs to your parents) will be confiscated and sold to pay for the government's costs involved with your trial.
    Are you not joking? This I call invation into privacy! This is... too much!

    But what I do as similar to what W. Luke does, I usually reply and ask the person if she really belives this because it is such a crap and usually put in that that I will block their email address if they continue to 'spam' me, usually shuts them down ...

    Anyhow, I really laughed at this 'If you don't send this message to 5 other people Hotmail will close your account', that is just the top of the stupidity! So sometimes I check these messages, just to see if they are stupid enought to laugh at them ...

    (hope my english is correct ...)
    - website

  14. #14
    Your sister is hott! Sla's Avatar
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    I can't block people, because usually I don't get a lot of e-mails that are chains, and if someone sends me an e-mail that they know I'd like, (a link to some computer related article, funny web site, etc.), then I wouldn't get it...so I just block all forwards

  15. #15
    Sidewalking anode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by website
    Are you not joking? This I call invation into privacy! This is... too much!
    That's what we call it, too, but they keep passing the laws. How's Iceland this time of year?
    TuitionFree a free library for the self-taught
    Anode Says... Blogging For Your Pleasure

  16. #16
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    Everyone I know who might send me this sort of tosh knows me well enough by now to not bother because I will rip them to shreds publicly. So thankfully I haven't had any for months!

    Now if only I got stop the prawno spam.
    I swear to drunk I'm not God.
    Matt's debating is not a crime
    Hint: Don't buy a stupid dwarf Clicky

  17. #17
    ********* Member website's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anode
    That's what we call it, too, but they keep passing the laws. How's Iceland this time of year?
    uhh, ehh ? What do you mean this time of year ?
    Anyway, I'll try to answear:

    The police in Iceland does very little of monitoring people, if they want to 'bug' phone calls or something like that they need approval by judge.
    And we have no secret service or any spy team (I think :), we have no army (although US army has base here ) and the SWAT team consist of ~ 5 people, and the police does not carry guns in most cases...

    Once some owner of some company read his employs email and fierd one because of something in the email. The employ sued the boss and won...

    And the weather here now is excellent, sun and 12C heat

    Hope this answeared your question
    - website

  18. #18
    TYPO! MetalGear's Avatar
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    well one thing is it helps the more inteligent part of the world become more aware about the stupidty of the other part of the world and there chain letters
    Regards Greg Cutts
    Email: Steak-bake@hotmail.com
    www.BLOGOFGREG.com- coming soon!

  19. #19
    Yugo full of anvils bronze trophy hillsy's Avatar
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    I used to have a few people send me chain letters and the like. I know it's bad, but I just did a "reply all" and pointed out somewhat ummm.... emphatically... that this stuff was absolute crap and here's 10 links to prove it.

    Sucks to have me as a friend I guess But it worked.
    that's me!
    Now A Pom. And a Plone Nut
    Broccoli Martinez Airpark

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sla
    I have my e-mail set up to block all emails that have this at the beginning of the subject:


    "FWD:"
    How do you do that then? Can it be done in Outlook Express?

    -Sam
    Sam Hastings

  21. #21
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devilware.net
    How do you do that then? Can it be done in Outlook Express?

    -Sam
    Yes... Set up a rule that moves an incoming email to the deleted folder based on words in the subject.

    You can find rules on the Tools Menu in the main Outlook Express window.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Ah brilliant

    Thanks!

    -Sam
    Sam Hastings


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