Break the Chain Free Skivvies from
Victoria's Secret

Created 7/28/2000 (7/28/2000) A "new" message is circulating that offers you a Victoria's Secret gift certificate just for forwarding it to 9 friends. In reality, it is neither new nor real.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

I could use some new underwear. Maybe you could to?

My name is Victoria Johnson, founder of Victoria's Secret. In an attempt to get our name out to more people in the rural communities where we are not currently located we are offering a $50 gift certificate to anyone who forwards this email to 9 of their friends. Just send this email to them and you will recieve a an email back with a confirmation number to claim your gift certificate.

Sincerely
Victoria Johnson
Founder of Victoria's Secret

Hey guys, DONT DELETE THIS EMAIL It really works, I tried it and got my Gift certificate confirmation number in 3 minutes.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

A streak of e-mails started around 1999 that pitted different large corporations against each other, competing for your e-mail attention. There was the Gap v. Abercrombie & Finch, Microsoft v. IBM/Intel, and Microsoft v. the world! The premise is that the companies are trying to capitalize on this powerful new medium called e-mail and want to buy your loyalty by offering free gifts in return for forwarding an e-mail about them.

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Companies do not do business this way! And even if they wanted to, e-mail tracking is not possible.There is absolutely no way any third party will know how many people you send this to and when. Thus, there is no way for anyone to send you a "confirmation number."

In case that's not enough to convince you, consider this truth: Victoria Johnson is not the founder of Victoria's Secret. Victoria's Secret is a division of Intimate Brands, Inc., a company founded by Ohio Entrepreneur Les Wexner. Intimate Brands also includes the Limited and Bath and Body Works.

With time, the opening and closing statements (the closer being a flat-out lie) have been added to lend credibility. The version we received also contained a bunch of headers and forwarding notation that, though we normally don't include this information in our reviews, we felt compelled to include this time because it sets a scary precedent (We've blocked out parts of the names involved to protect the innocent):

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

From: XXXXXX, Pamela
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2000 12:18 PM
Subject: FW: Victoria Secret Gift Certificate

Guess this goes to show that all those other emails you get that say if you forward it on you will receive money or something! No such luck!!
Pam :)

-----Original Message-----
From: XXXXXX, Donna
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2000 3:08 PM
To: XXXXXX, Stacey
Cc: VSS Administrative Assistants
Subject: RE: Victoria Secret Gift Certificate

We've been seeing these for some months now. We have forwarded to Doug XXXXXX and Janet XXXXXX (our attorneys at DC3) and to Bruce XXXXXX. They are working on the problem. Obviously this is not the founder of VSS, nor are we giving out gift certificates. Someone is probably trying to get names for their own business by using this gimmick. Grace knows about it.

I am going to forward your e-mail to the other admins as I am sure others are hearing about this gimmick. (Jenn: I know you know - you were the first one to bring it to our attention!)
Donna

-----Original Message-----
From: XXXXXX, Stacey
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2000 2:40 PM
To: XXXXXX, Donna
Subject: FW: Victoria Secret Gift Certificate
Importance: High

Didn't know who to send to. My friends downstairs sent up to me -- thought it sounded weird.
Stacey

-----Original Message-----
From: Kathleen_XXXXXX@abercrombie.com
[mailto:Kathleen_XXXXXX@abercrombie.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2000 1:50 PM
To: SXXXXXX@VICTORIA.com
Subject: Victoria Secret Gift Certificate

---------------------- Forwarded by Kathleen XXXXXX/Abercrombie on 07/20/2000 01:37 PM ---------------------------

Tom XXXXXX
07/20/2000 01:29 PM

To: Kathleen XXXXXX/Abercrombie@Abercrombie
cc:
Subject: Victoria Secret Gift Certificate

Sounds fishy to me

----- Forwarded by Tom XXXXXX/Abercrombie on 07/20/00 01:09 PM-----

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

This virtual paper trail, if legitimate, seems to indicate that the message has been brought to the attention of important individuals at both Abercrombie and Victoria's Secret, and that they deny its claims.

Despite this evidently disproving information, PEOPLE ARE STILL FORWARDING IT AS IT IS! Fixated on the possibility of getting something for nothing, they've obviously discounted the validity of the detractors and are forwarding it "just in case." At the very least, it represents a major security leak at both companies, and is yet another reason why you shouldn't forward e-mails. What if these people get reprimanded for allowing this to get out? Kinda scary that the next time, it could be your name that is bandied about without your knowledge or permission. Makes you think twice about sending anything to anybody. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Something for Nothing
References: None

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