Ancient Chain Letter Migrates From Mail to Social Networking

July 3, 2014 | BY

You’re always guaranteed to see a chain letter of one form or another bouncing around on a social network or in a mailbox, and here’s one such missive currently in circulation.

It claims Microsoft and AOL are running a form of email beta test with big cash rewards for anybody forwarding on the email – $245 every time you send it on, $243 every time a contact resends it and $241 for every third person that receives it.

The catch here is that the text – which is clearly supposed to be sent to email addresses – has been posted to a social network comment box on a profile page instead.

chain letter

It’s such a wall of text that attempting to copy and paste in here would take forever, so feel free to check out this post on Google Groups from way back in 2005 where this thing was already filling up mailboxes and causing a bit of confusion to boot.

It was nonsense then, and it’s nonsense now.

Amazingly, the mail from 2005 even sports the same phone numbers as the social network post from a few days ago – if they even belonged to whoever started the chain in the first place, it’s extremely likely that they’re long since abandoned.

Even so, you can’t keep a good scam down and so eight years after it rolled into town the fake Microsoft / AOL beta payout bonanza continues to find new life, as it moves from mailboxes to social network comment boxes in a desperate attempt to live on for a few more years.

Think twice before forwarding chain letters and let’s see if we can prevent this one from leaping back to mailboxes after its short vacation.

Christopher Boyd

  • Odin Townley

    What do you mean “belonged to whoever started the chain in the first place.”?? Hasn’t this person been identified by now, and long since put in jail? If not, why not Malwarebytes?? Why should I trust your service if you can shut these spammers down?

  • Christopher Boyd

    Hi Odin. Meaning, whatever person created and sent out the first piece of spam back in 2005. I’m not sure how anybody would know in 2014 who the entirely anonymous spammer from 2005 is, much less if they went to jail for it – it just isn’t possible unfortunately. Also, even if you find out who a number belongs to now, it’s not a sure thing you can work out or trace who it routed to nine years ago.

  • Mark Drew

    The phone numbers were probably for someone the original poster wanted to upset. Back in 2005 it was so easy to get an email address that you could use once and then abandon, just like PayAs YouGo sim cards that you can buy and chuck. Chasing down spammers is not as easy as you might think. I have investigated them inside organisations and found that someone left their logged on terminal unattended and it was used by a third party to send malicious or solicious mail.

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