Dude, You're Not Getting This Dell!
Date Added: Dec. 9, 2004
The 'Forward for free stuff' chain letter was one of the earliest hoaxes to capitalize on the incredible power of the Internet for marketing and most people's general ignorance of what the 'net and e-mail are capable of.
Dell is giving away PCs for free. Dell is trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its product and the reward you receive for advertising for them is a free pc free of cost.
To receive your free PCs all you have to do is to send this email out to 20 people.
Within 2 weeks you will receive a free pc. (They will contact you through your e- mail address).
Please mark a copy to: - Hong_Ching_Png@Dell.com
This one is slightly better than an earlier hoax about free IBM computers, in that it throws out the long-debunked concept of "e-mail tracking" - a mythical technology by which a third party is supposed to be able to monitor what you do with an e-mail chain letter that was forwarded to you. That technology does not exist.
The new trend in "forward for free stuff" hoaxes is to provide an e-mail address that you are supposed to copy when you send to your 20 friends. Assumedly, this poor individual has the unenviable task of weeding through the millions of copies that this chain is sure to spawn and determine if each one meets the requirements for the free PC? E-mails to that address bounce as undeliverable.
Just think about it: If you send this message to 20 people, who each send it to 20 people and so on, you'll generate more than 3.2 million copies of it in just five generations - that could be as quick as a couple of days. Do you really think a company - even a giant like Dell - would devote that kind of manpower for "word-of-mouth" advertising, over which they have no control, just to give their stuff away? No, Dell is not giving computers away to folks who forward this e-mail (nor is any other company).
So, who would create such a hoax? Who could possibly benefit from millions of copies of a message floating around and being posted to message boards, each one with at least 21 e-mail addresses attached to it and some with many, many more (I've seen some versions with more than 1,200 e-mail addresses in the header). That's right, spammers and scammers. Forwarding chain letters like this one greatly increases your (and your friends') exposure to other types of junk e-mail. So, before you forward this one "just in case," ask yourself if you really want your address floating around the 'net for all to see. Dont want the junk - Break this chain.