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Email Tracking

Bill gates and Microsoft want to give you money to test a new tracking program?  Oh, sure they do.  There is an Internet myth called "e-mail tracking" in this context, the supposed capacity, using special software, to monitor the path of any message through multiple forwards by an ever-increasing number of senders to an ever-increasing number of recipients. No such software exists. No such capacity as "e-mail tracing" exists. And even if it did, monitoring the exponentially increasing circulation of a successful chain letter would be impossible.

The concept of e-mail tracking first showed up in the Bill Gates $1,000 giveaway hoax. The earliest version of this still popular chain letter appeared in November 1997. That message began:

Hello everybody, my name is Bill Gates. I have just written up an e-mail tracing program that traces everyone to whom this message is forwarded to...

From this grew the myriad e-mail tracking chain letters that are so plentiful on the Internet these days (see Giveaway Hoaxes).

In the latest versions of this hoax, the supposed tracking program is attached to the e-mail. The "attached" tracking program is the mechanism by which whoever is running the scheme will supposedly determine how many times the message has been forwarded. It lends a bit of credibility to the plan . . . so long as you don't stop to think about the fact that the message has no attachment of any kind when received. Besides which, file attachments don't do anything unless executed by the recipient.

Another version:


Hello Disney fans, and thank you for signing up for Bill Gates' Beta Email Tracking. My name is Walt Disney Jr. Here at Disney we are working with Microsoft which has just compiled an e-mail tracing program that tracks everyone to whom this message is forwarded to. It does this through an unique IP (Internet Protocol) address log book database. We are experimenting with this and need your help. Forward this to everyone > you know and if it reaches 13,000 people, 13,000 of the people on the >list will receive $5,000, and the rest will receive a free trip for two to Disney World for one week during the summer of 1999 at our expense. Enjoy.

Note: Duplicate entries will not be counted. You will be notified by email with further instructions once this email has reached 13,000 people.

Your friends,
Walt Disney Jr., Disney, Bill Gates, & The Microsoft Development Team.

And ANOTHER version

Subject: FW: Let's all go!!

Disney message & $5,000.00

If you read below you will see the note from Walt Disney Jr. & Management at Disney World. Basically if this messages reaches 13,000 people, everyone will receive $5,000.00 or a free, all expenses paid, trip to Disney World in anytime during the summer of 1999. See the note below - its worth it!!!!

Another Version, sent this Summer:

Claudine Cavalier <>
on 08/21/98 04:47:04 PM

Folks, I called Disney my self. It's no lie. GET IT DONE! You all owe me.

Disney message & $5,000.00 If you read below you will see the note from Walt Disney Jr. & Management at Disney World. Basically if this messages reaches 13,000 people, everyone will receive $5,000.00 or a free, all expenses paid, trip to Disney >World in anytime during the summer of 1999. See the note below - its worth it!!!!

Everyone is to re-send to 15 individuals.

Please read and forward to as many friends as possible...we've checked up on this and this is no joke of a chain letter or something if this reaches 13,000 people...duplicate entries don't count, though...So, please help & pass on... thank you, and here you go!!!

And yet another

To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages, but this is from my good friend Pearlas Sanborn and she really is an attorney. If she says that this will work - it WILL work. After all, what have you got to lose?


 I'm an attorney, and I know the law.  This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

We're not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time.  My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When I went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game.

She showed me her check.  It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid In Full". Like I said before, I know the law, and this is for real. Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger which would make  them the largest Internet company and in an effort make sure that AOL remains the most widely used program, Intel and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. When you forward this e-mail to friends, Intel can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. 

 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. Within two weeks, Intel will contact you for your address and then send you a check.I thought this was a scam myself, but a friend of my good friend's Aunt Patricia, who works at Intel, actually got a check of $4,543.23 by forwarding this e-mail.


 Try it, what have you got to lose????

 ( Aunt Patricia!!!  Can you believe I received this several times, and from one person who insisted it must be true, because it came from an attorney!!!! )

Bill Gates said it best: ". . . it is hooey."


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

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Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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