View Full Version : Anyone else getting pyramid scheme via e-mail?
05-29-2000, 04:52 PM
I just got one, and I suspect whoever sent it got my address from here--nobody else who has it is likely to have signed me up for such a thing.
The one I got was sent from a "treasurer 5@ yahoo.com," and begins:
"You can earn $50,000 or more in the next 90 days sending e-mail."
Uh huh. It goes on about how it's a perfectly legal multi-level marketing plan AS SEEN ON TV! (like that makes it more believable). It seems to involve sending in money for four "reports," which appear to be about how to get other suckers to buy the same reports from you for $5 a pop. Then you huckster the reports online, either via e-mail or by online ads of some sort--your name is on a list, and then others supposedly do your selling for you. Maybe it is legal--I'm no expert on this sort of thing. But like all schemes of it's kind, it presupposes an unlimited supply of suckers--otherwise the dimwits at the bottom of the pyramid would have no one to sell reports to.
I just wondered if other people here are getting this same letter--if so, that would confirm addresses are being gathered from the SDMB. I don't know that anything could be done about it, but maybe the administrators would be interested to know.
05-29-2000, 05:17 PM
You've only got ONE??!!?!
I have to go to my Hotmail address every three day to just delete the 862 messages of spam. I've told all of my friends not to email me there, but a few still do.
05-29-2000, 05:38 PM
Hmm. Yeah, so far just the one. I didn't realize it was an epidemic.
Are you new to the internet? If you've never received spam before, you're either a newbie to the internet, or you never surf anywhere.
Spam is an epidemic. It sucks. Nobody from here signed you up, rest assured. Next time, try looking at what address they actually sent the mail to(E.G.- MisterEcks@hishome.com, -or- email@example.com)
It's very easy these days for people to mass mail to a whole ISP without even having your E-mail address. Sometimes, when you visit a site and download a cookie, it culls your address. Sometimes, it's an executable at a website. SOmetimes places you've signed up at sell your address.
So, there's a million places you get it from. THe only thing to do is for you to mark them as "JUnk Mail senders" in your E-mail program, or hit delete.
05-29-2000, 07:39 PM
Yes, Gawd, I know what spam is--I've had plenty of it in my time. (More than most, probably--I used to hang out in AOL chatrooms.) But the address in question is a Hotmail account which has very limited circulation--anything that comes in on it is supposed to be that which I would want to read, rather than spam, ads, or chain letters. I don't give it out gratuitously--I have another addy for useless crap, which gets checked only occasionally--and I don't store it, so a cookie shouldn't get it. (I think.) The only site that has it, as opposed to personal friends and Hotmail itself, is this one right here. (Which should be seen as a great honor for the SDMB, incidentally.) And, no, I have never received spam before on this account. That's why I think the address may have been gathered from this site.
Incidentally, I was not suggesting the admins were harvesting e-mail addresses and selling them or something--that seems to be how you took what I wrote. Just that somebody--I don't even know that it would have to be a member--checked out some of the addresses and used them to solicit for these report thingies. It seems a logical enough thing to do for this sort of enterprise.
05-29-2000, 09:37 PM
It's possible that, if your email addy is listed in your profile (or some other publicly accessible place) a "Spambot" (I [i]think that's what they're called -- it's sort of like an independent search engine thingy. There -- technical enough?) can search for any text strings that contain an "@" and send the results to someone who compiles them for their own use or to sell to others.
Some folks like to make pages of bogus email addresses and put them at their sites, just to bamboozle the spambots. There are even random email generators that can crank out several thousand such addresses rather quickly. The idea is that people who use these devices to harvest email addresses will wind up collecting loads of worthless adresses and no-one will buy their databases anymore (after a while, of course. I like that idea! I prefer to fight back rather than sit and whine.
Here's the yahoo listing for a bunch of such-like stuff (can you tell I'm tired? ;))
That was my point to Mr. X.
There is no need ofr anyone to cull your E-mail address from here or anywhere else. There are bots and other tools used to collect that info.
Also, I've not received any spam at my work address which I have listed in my profile.
05-29-2000, 11:24 PM
It's possible that, if your email addy is listed in your profile (or some other publicly accessible place)
It is listed in my profile here--and that's the only public place it's listed, as far as I know. Hence my assumption.
There is no need ofr anyone to cull your E-mail address from here or anywhere else. There are bots and othertools used to collect that info.
I'm by no means a computer expert--sometimes I'm lucky to figure out how to turn them on--but these bots have to get them from somewhere, right? Or are you saying they can pull them up from Hotmail itself?
Also, I've not received any spam at my work address which I have listed in my profile.
That, and the fact there have been no affirmative responses, seems to mean the answer to my original question was no--nobody else got this letter. Which means they didn't get my e-mail from here, they did get it from here but only chose me, or that I dreamed the whole thing. Oh well, what the hell.
05-30-2000, 02:06 AM
I usually delete any mail that looks like spam without even reading it (I know all my on-line friends' adresses, so I can afford to to that). Some of us get so much spam, that they may have gotten that mailing and just deleted it. Others might have an effective spam filter and never saw it. (BTW, does Outlook Express have one? If so, how does it work, more specifically, how do I use it?)
Really, I get between 1 and 10 spam messages a day (sometimes more, but that's unusual). I wouldn't worry about it unless they someone starts sending you viruses your antivirus program doesn't recognize.
For more info (and more expert advice than I can provide, look here:
(Death to Spam is oparticularly good, IMHO.) If you find anything really, really good, post about it. I try to keep up on these things, but my personal life had been demanding a lot of my attention of late.
05-30-2000, 02:36 AM
I got one recently, too, but a slightly different version than Ecks got. Like his, it focused on why this scheme was legal, rather than why it's still unprofitable, but in the case of the one I got, the service was adding to a mailing list, not buying reports. I'm pretty sure that it's still illegal; if they say to send it via U.S. Mail, you can sic the feds on them.
There seems to have been an explosion of these lately, in various versions. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if all of the variants originate from the same person, but it could be copycatters.
05-30-2000, 04:00 AM
Come to think of it, the one I got insisted you send cash for these reports--$5 each--which is an instant neon sign flashing "Ripoff." But apparently enough people believe this stuff that somebody makes money on it.
I've also realized I was wrong about the SDMB being the only public place with that address--I have sent and received e-cards with it. Which means this whole thread was completely useless...which further means MysterEcks isn't always as smart as he thinks he is. <sigh>
Euty, Uncle...g'head and kill it.
"I'm not a doofus...I just play one on a messageboard."
they didn't get my e-mail from here, they did get it from here but only chose me, or that I dreamed the whole thing. Oh well, what the hell.
A mind certainly is a terrible thing to waste :D
Since I don't participate in spam-raids, I really couldn't tell you how the bots operate. Generally, I'd think they operated like search-engine bots, and that they scanned individual sites for firstname.lastname@example.org/net/org/edu combinations.
It would be real difficult for them to hit a profile page here because it's hidden a layer or two under all of the posting. Your better bet is that it was gotten from your E-greetings place.
Baloo, you can set up Outlook to filter out messages based upon the To:/From:/title/content. THe only problem with that is if you constantly get E-mails from porno services with the title "hey there big boy" and you decide to filter by "big boy", if a girl does write to you, in earnest, it'll get filtered out and you'll get the E-cold shoulder.
I simply delete them, and go to "messages" and click on Junk mail sender.
I've gotten plenty of spam, but no pyramid schemes until this month. Then I've gotten 3, purportedly from friends, but I don't recognize the name of the sender.
One of them I got was about a mother who found thousands of dollars in her son's closet, all it $5 and $10 bills. At first she though he was selling drugs, but they he shows her the e-mail chain letter and that it was working wonders.
I guess this not being the US mail that there's nothing illegal about it. And I can only imagine that chain letters keep being created because for someone they are profitable.
(If I could just get everyone in the country (US) to send me one penny, I'd be happy. :D)
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.