Chain Email Letters - Frauds That Will Not Help Anyone

Email Chain Letter Hoaxes

Chain email Letters

Sympathy hoaxes usually describe some person that has had something terrible happen to them, such as an accident or terminal disease. Or it could be a plea about a lost or missing child. Most of these are just simply not true, made up by an Internet hoaxster. In rare instances these letters may have had a basis in fact. By now, however, that person has grown up, gotten cured, or has been found. The problem with sending out messages such as those is that there is no way to stop them after the problem is resolved, thus becoming an urban legend.

Any reference to the Make-A-Wish Foundation donating money, seven cents for example, is a hoax because they do not participate in those kinds of appeals. They specialize in granting the wishes of terminally ill children. Most call for $1.00, $5,00, or more. They are illegal through the US Mail, by the way. However, the Internet is free so these are really making the rounds. And the longer the explanation, the stronger the "hook" that you believe this. Get a life!!!!

Many ask you to sign an e-petition and forward it on. One cannot actually sign an e-petition. In the absence of identifying details such as physical addresses and phone numbers, the names listed on these petitions are unverifiable and easily faked. In true chain letter fashion, the same "signatures" are replicated over and over in multiple copies of the message. The task of weeding out these repetitive "signatures" would be enormous, if anyone would even bother to do so. Consider the waste of time and resources. It is, however, a wonderful way for spammers to come up with huge lists of valid e-mail addresses.

E-petitions are self-perpetuating chain letters over which their originators have no control whatsoever. Recipients can and do alter the texts at will before passing them along, often corrupting the accuracy of the information. The circulation of e-petitions can neither be predicted nor limited. They cannot be recalled and they cannot be stopped. Some existing e-mail petitions are still circulating years after their originators have disavowed them.

As anyone who has actually attempted to send e-mail to the address listed in the message has discovered, it usually does not exist - completed copies of the petition are simply bounced back from the server, rendering them useless. Because of the huge volume of e-mail traffic, the originator's ISP will simply cancel their account.

Delete those petitions. They're unlikely to carry much weight with anyone in authority, especially as compared to a flood of personal messages from a comparable number of individuals. Respond to your friends who send the petitions that if they want to have an impact they should pick up the phone or write a real letter in their own words to those running the show. Chain letters have proven themselves to be fairly useless; more sophisticated petitions, posted to a Web site that collects signatures, have garnered more respect.

Finally, do not forward unverified chain letters, no matter how compelling they might seem. Propagating chain letters is specifically prohibited by the terms of service of most Internet service providers and you could lose your account.

NOTE: An e-mail petition concerning the civil rights of Afghanistan women has been making the rounds, and the story of their plight is true. However, such a petition has no validity at all as no signature can be checked or validated. If you are concerned about this issue go to one of the websites related to this topic such as:

  • FTC's Chain Emails Page
    Offers information about the FTC's recent law enforcement actions against chain emailers and advice on how to handle chain email.

Lists of Identified Frauds Emails

Reference to any of the following names is either a hoax or an urban legend:

Rachel Arlington
Jermaine Beerman
Amy Bruce
Jada Cohen
Rick Connor
Jeff DeLeon
Timothy Flyte
Kelsey Brooke Jones
David Lawitts
Tamara Martin
Dave Matthews
Anthony Parkin
Kalin Relek
Krystava Schmidt
Craig Shelford
Craig Shergold
Aaron Russell Steinmetz


Here is a partial list of these fake chain letters with further information about them:

Bill Gates
Ecology alert
Email charges
Ericsson giveaway
HIV Needles
Intel/AOL merger
Jessica Mydek
Nokia giveaway
Nostradamus prophecy
Outback Steakhouse


Now, if you want to see some humor about these stupid chain letters, click here!


And here is the typical chain letter / chain email:

Please follow the instructions of this letter very carefully, immediately print and READ TWICE.

Hopefully my name is still on the list. When I first read the letter, I thought it was some off-the-wall idea to make money. A week later, I met again with my client to discuss the issue. I told him that the letter originally brought to me was not 100% legal. I advised him to make a small change in the letter and it will be alright. I was curious about the letter, so he told me how it works. I thought it was a long shot, so I decided against participating. before my client left, I asked him to keep me updated as to his results. About two months later, he called to tell me that he had received over $800,000.00 in cash!!
I didn't believe him so he asked me to try the plan and see for myself. I thought about it for a few days and decided that there was not much to lose. I followed the instructions exactly and mailed out 200 letters. Sure enough the money started coming in!!
It came slowly at first, but after three weeks, I was getting more than I could open in a day. After about three months the money stopped coming. I kept a precise record of my earnings and at the end they totaled $868.439.00!
I was earning a good living as a lawyer, but as anyone in the legal profession will tell you, there is a lot of stress that comes with the job. I told myself if things worked out I would retire from practice and play golf. I decided to try the letter again, but this time I sent out 500 letters. Well, three months after that, I had totaled $2,344.178.00!! I just couldn't believe it. I met my old client for lunch to find out how this exactly works. He told me that there were a few similar letters going around. What made this one different is the fact that there are seven names on the letter, not five like most others.
This fact, alone, resulted in more returns. The other factor was the advice I gave him in making sure the whole thing was perfectly legal, since no one wants to risk doing anything illegal.
I bet now you are curious about what changes I told him to make. Well, if you send a letter like this out, to be legal, you must sell something if you expect to receive a dollar. I told him that any-one sending a dollar out must receive something in return. So when you send a dollar to each of the seven names on the list, you must include a piece of paper saying "please put me on your mailing list" and include your name, mailing address.
Follow the simple instructions below exactly, and in less than three months, you will receive over $800,000.00.
B) Mail a $1 bill (wrapped in a piece of blank paper) to each of the seven names below. Include a note (typed or handwritten) saying "please add me to your mailing list" and include your name and mailing address.
CA 94114-3550
2. D.T.A. RT 2 BOX 150 MEEKER, OK 74855
3. ALLIE H. 1016 HIGH SCHOOL ST. ADA, OK 74820
5. W. WERNER 1934 BOND ST. RAHWAY, NJ 07065

B) Remove the name next to #1 at the top of the list and move the rest of the names up one position. Then place your name in the #7 spot. This is done by saving this to a file and enter it in your information on line #7. Be very careful when you type the addresses and proof read them.
C) When you have completed the above instructions, you have options of mailing your new letter in two ways:
1) Through US Postal Service or 2) through e-mail. This letter has been proven perfectly legal for both ways as long as you follow the above instructions, because you're purchasing membership in our exclusive mailing list. To mail this out over the internet, you could browse through areas and find people to send this to all the time. All you have to do is cut and paste e-mail addressees wherever you are on the internet. Remember, it doesn't cost anything to e-mail on the internet. Or you can use Mass E-Mail Network to mail out in large volumes for you. We highly recommend this one. They always e-mail more than the amount you purchase and their addresses are fresh. E-Mail this letter to them with your name and address in position #7 above.
Contact this Bulk E-Mail Company NOW. They have the lowest rates on the net! They're fast, provide effective results and give excellent service. They are running a special for $89.00 per 100,000 mailings and if you order now they are giving away an extra 50,000 mailings free. The number is 207-896-7915.
Send this letter to thousands, even millions. This will bring you big payoffs.
*** Keep in mind there is no limit to the amount of names you could send out. The more names you send, the more money you will make.
We strongly encourage you to mail this letter to family and friends as well.
(refer to title 18, section 1302 & 1342 of the U.S. Postal and Lottery Laws)
Assume for example, that you get 7.5% return rate, which is very conservative. My first attempt was about 9.5% and my second time was over 11%.
1) When you mail out 200 letters, 15 people will send you $1.00
2) Those 15 people mail out 200 letters and 225 people send you $1.00
3) Those 225 mail out 200 letters and 3,375 people send you $1.00
4) Those 3,375 people mail out 200 letters and 50,625 people send you $1.00
5) Those 50,625 people mail out 200 letters and 759,375 people send you $1.00
6) Those 759,375 people mail out 200 letters and 11,390,625 people send you $1.00
At this point, your name drops off the list. Think about it. With only the first six levels, you have received over $813,615.00!! Smile all the way to the bank.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.