As often as I’ve warned folks about scams like this, they still keep going and going. I must have gotten five Facebook messages containing this scam over the New Year’s Holiday Weekend.
Here’s the scam:
“This was on the 9:00 o’clock news the other night and this works. THIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE TUESDAY USA TODAY – IT IS FOR REALPLEEEEEEASE READ it was on the news!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.Dear Friends; Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user)? For a two weeks time period.For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and ! for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a check. RegardsCharles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations 1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX 292-1085 I thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and within days, I receive a check for $24, 800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this, Bill gates is the man.It’s all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible.”
There are 10,000 ways to tell this is a fake, but if you did forward it, shame on you! You didn’t see this on the 9 o’clock news. You didn’t see two full pages about it in the USA Today, but you are representing to people that know you that you did. How do I know you didn’t see it? Because it’s not real. Evey a minimal amount of research, such as just Googling it, would have revealed that.
Even if you think something like this could be real, don’t forward it with wording that suggests you actually saw it on the news or read it in the paper. That’s dishonest. Most of the time information like this is just designed to mess with people. To see how many people will forward it so the hoaxers can sit back and have a good laugh at the people who fell for it. But sometimes, you’ll see phone numbers to call or links to click, and these things can lead you or your friends into a scam that could lock their computer or clean out their bank accounts. Do you really want to be a part of that?
Bill Gates has given away billions and billions of dollars. He does it through his charitable foundation to causes he cares about. That’s how rich people give away money. If you want a chance at a million bucks, spend a dollar on a lottery ticket. At least someone somewhere is going to win something. I know a lot of people say “what’s the harm?” The harm is that when people get used to blindly sharing things like this, they end up blindly sharing malicious links that hold malware that can wreck computers or even shut down a power grid or a hospital. Think before you share!