Unspun Logo

AOL-Intel-Microsoft: The Nigerian Contingent

Posted by Rick · November 17th, 2003 · 1 Comment

Seems people never learn, even otherwise intelligent people, like law students. I received an email today from a fellow student — as did about 300 other people to whom she sent it. The message explained how we could easily get at least $10,000. And all we had to do was forward her message to as many people as we could as part of a “beta test” of an email system.

Now, think about it folks….

Even if AOL, Intel, Microsoft or some other company actually wanted to “beta test” their email system, by the time they were ready to deploy it, they’d be too broke. The bankruptcy court would never let them distribute it. If there were any monies left, they’d go to their creditors (including the people who sued because they were at the tail end of this pyramid scheme). Do you not think there are other, cheaper ways to test such things (like laboratories, for example)?

Consider this excerpt from one version of this letter:

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. AOL and Intel Hoax,” Symantec: Security Response.

I’m no master mathematician, but even I can see that in just one or two days, with very little effort whatsoever, Microsoft could conceivably spend $200,000,000. Yes, two-hundred million. And that’s just taking the first number ($203.15) and multiplying it times one-million people who want to get rich quick. If anyone they forward it to mails it forward — even if just one out of every three are convinced &#8212 that’s another $52 million. Now, if they’re going to do this and track your email for two weeks, racking up the numbers of dollars to you, that’s a lot of potential damage to their bank reserves merely for a “beta test.”

Do you think, “Well, but one-million people wouldn’t do this!” I can almost prove you wrong on that count just by adding up the number of times I’ve received the hoax myself. But consider this: there are more than one-million people living in the area surrounding Fresno, California. There are about 35 million people living in California. There are nearly 300 — yes, three-hundred — million people living in the United States.

If you still think there’s a possibility this hoax is true, please contact me. I’ve several business propositions for you. I’ve tried attracting investors on some of them since I was 4 years old without luck.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Categories: Miscellany

Tags: · , , , ,

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Martin // Nov 18, 2003 at 12:31 pm

    I’m glad that my mail filter now cuts out most of this rubbish. You’d think, though, that most people would have an an in-built nonsense detector that would flag messages like this with a big WARNING sign…but apparently not. Hence: spam. No matter how crude or stupid the marketing message, if you send it to millions of people, *someone* will be foolish enough to respond to it.

    The Urban Legends Reference Pages (http://www.snopes.com) are a pretty good source for information about email hoaxes like this one. (http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/billgate.asp)

Leave a Comment