Just Yahoo Do You Think You Are?
Date Added: Feb 11, 2002
One good thing you can definitely say about people who create and propagate e-mail hoaxes is that they're into recycling. This one is just a re-hash of an earlier hoax.
Dear YAHOO User,
Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to YAHOO, it has come to our attention that we are vastly running out of resources. So, within a month's time, anyone who does not receive this email with the exact subject heading, will be deleted off our server.Please forward this email so that we know you are still using this account.
WARNING WARNING We want to find out which users are actually using their YAHOO accounts. So if you are using your account, please pass this e-mail to every YAHOO user that you can and AND IF YOU DO NOT PASS this letter to anyone we will delete your account.
From Mr. ALLEN SMITH
Our YAHOO system is getting to crowded!! We need you to forward this to at least 20 people. I know this seems like a large number, but we need to find out who is really using their account. If you do not send this to at least 10 YAHOO members, we will delete your account. Sorry for this inconvenience.
Please do this! Some of my friends have already gotten deleted and you aren't allowed to send it back to the person who sent this email to you!!!
DO NOT DELETE!!!! This is Yahoo President Jay Russell, I am sorry to announce that Yahoo has reached its maximum number of accounts two million. If you would like to keep your account for free send this to everyone on your list. This way we can know which accounts are being used and which accounts we can delete. Send this within 8 days and your account will remain free. Once again I am sincerely sorry that I have to do this. Please start sending.
Jay Russell, Yahoo
Compare these chains to the earlier versions of the "Hotmail is full" hoax that has been circulating since 1999.
Simply put, while some degree of e-mail tracking is possible (using scripts and specific e-mail systems, etc.), global e-mail tracking as described in this letter and dozens like it (e.g., across systems and formats), is not possible.
Consider this complication: what if you have a Yahoo! Mail account, but don't know 20 others who do? And, what if one or more of your recipients view their messages in plain text or behind a firewall that blocks scripts in e-mails?
Even if it were possible to globally track every e-mail message, companies like MSN and Yahoo! likely would not use poorly written and randomly forwarded warnings to monitor users and weed out deadbeats. If Yahoo! has a message they want you to see, it will appear on your login page, not via a "forward this to 20 people" e-mail. Break this Chain!