From: Bob Rankin
Subject: Tourbus - 08 Sep 03 - Generate Currency Quickly
Hi All. Oh the irony... Last week I sent out a TOURBUS post which referred to a famous spammer. But since that article contained certain words which are deemed verboten by over-zealous spam filters, many of you never got that issue. Thanks to all who wrote to say that they found that article in their bulkmail folder, or got notice that it was filtered.
With my apologies to those who DID get it the first time, I'm resending that issue, having made some "cosmetic" modifications. I hope the simple substitutions in words and letters below will not be too distracting. Personally, I think spam filters are out of control and often brain-dead. The technology needs to get better. But since I know that TOURBUS riders are smarter and better looking than ordinary Internet users, I am confident you'll catch on quickly.
Before we get to our topic of the day, I want to encourage you to visit the freshly-updated TOURBUS website. Photos of Bob and Patrick, more Very Strange Things On The Web, and the ARCHIVES ARE BACK! Check out several years of back issues or search by keyword.
If you've been online for more than an hour, you've probably gotten one of those "PHENOMENAL MUNNEY MAYKING PROGRAMS" that promise to make you 50 grand richer in short order. It's the classic "David Rhodes" Mayke Munney Fasst scheme, now legendary on the Net. If you haven't seen one, here's a basic outline:
You send five bucks each to four people, and order reports like:
"Major Corp Orations And Mul Ti-Level Sales" "Sour Ces For The Best Mai Ling Lists"
Then you send out thousands of copies of the same letter, attaching your name and address to the first report, and bumping the other names down to the next report. The idea is that eventually hordes of people will be sending you so many fivers that your mailbox will explode.
When I was a teenager, I tried something very similar, expecting to retire a wealthy man at age 16. Without the help of the Internet, I copied, collated, folded, licked, stamped and mailed out 1000 letters with my sure-fire Mayke Munney Fasst scheme. Then I waited for the munney to start rolling in. After three weeks, I got just ONE reply. I lost about a hundred smackers on the deal and my Mom & Dad were nice enough not to say "I told you so".
This kind of thing just doesn't work, and here's why. Let's assume a
response rate of 1/10 of 1% (which may actually be generous). In
order to make 50 kilobucks you'd have to send 10,000 letters, resulting in
10 people sending you a Fiver, and hope that those ten would get 10, and
each of those ten would get ten. That makes 10,000 people. Expressed another way:
Level 1: Total replies: 10 / Total letters 10,000 Level 2: Total replies: 100 / Total letters 100,000 Level 3: Total replies: 1000 / Total letters 1,000,000 Level 4: Total replies: 10000 / Total letters 10,000,000
So you can see that over 10 Million people have to get your letter before you'll rake in the expected booty. Theoretically, this could work, but only a couple times, before everyone on the Internet has seen the scheme. And since this type of letter has been making the rounds for over 15 years, you can bet a large percentage of those online HAVE seen it and won't fall for it.
And then figure in the fact that you'd have to be VERY lucky if all your letters on level 2 went to 100,000 UNIQUE persons. Realistically, many of the recipients will receive multiple copies, especially if you have friends sending to their own intersecting circles of friends. Now add the "Fear of Spam" factor to this scenario. Most people know that spam is bad, and they don't want to risk losing their account on such a gamble.
This makes the actual response rate on levels 2 through 4 much lower than expected - and probably close to nil. In short, it's a waste of your time and munney. You'll most certainly be branded an Evil Spammer, your ISP will drop you in a flash, and you may get a phone call from the local Attorney General asking for a lunch date.
If I honestly thought that I could mayke munney using this scheme, I'd just send all 80,000 Tourbus readers a Mayke Munney Fasst letter, wait six weeks and laugh my 400 Grand all the way to the bank. With that kind of munney in hand, would I care if I lost my account or people called me a spammer? Hardly, but it just ain't gonna happen, folks.
So please don't fall for this scam. The only people making munney off this type of thing are the sleazeballs who sell those "guaran teed fresh" lists of e-mail addr esses to the suckers who fall for this type of thing.
HOWEVER, if you HAVE tried this online, and you did mayke munney, I want to hear from you. Even if you made enough to cover your time and cost, I want to know. I won't reveal the identity of anyone who contacts me, but I'm betting that I won't get a single reply. Unless of course, David Rhodes is out of prison.
A few Tourbus riders did 'fess up to having tried a Mayke Munney Fasst scheme. None of them got rich, though. Here are their stories:
> "I did this type of thing about 25 years ago. Received a couple
> hundred dollars. Got summoned to some court hearing in Philadelphia
> and was ordered to cease and desist. Would have had to repay people,
> but each would have gotten less than $1, so I did not have to go
> through that exercise. Whew!"
> "In 1991 I sent one of those emails to every student at a major
> Australian university. I made about 21 hundred dollars and lost
> my account. However since I was able to buy a car I achieved
> my goal and I got the account back a month later.
Very interesting! But I have a feeling that things have changed quite a bit since then. People are more sensitized to this type of scam, and the penalties (academic and legal) are surely harsher. A few people wrote to say that they tried M-M-F more recently and got nothing at all. Case closed!
See you next time, and please send this letter to 10,000 friends. --Bob Rankin