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The Microsoft Email Scam - Will it ever go away?

By Michelle Gonzalez
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004

Safeguard yourself and your reputation. Don't be taken in my these internet scam artists. Just this morning I sat down to my computer with a steaming hot cup of coffee to check my e-mail and peruse the Internet a bit before beginning my daily routine. What I was greeted with when I opened my inbox was enough to send steam shooting straight out of my ears, and boil my coffee into tar.

It was this (I changed all the names and deleted the e-mail addresses to protect the guilty):

Subject: Please read this - tres interessant

To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages, but this is from my good friend Ima Scam Artist, and she really is an attorney.

If she says that this will work - it WILL work. After all, what have you got to lose?

SORRY EVERYBODY.....JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! 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.

Dear Friends,
Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is 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 week 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 cheque.

Serious Lee Pathetic

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 received a cheque for US$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. You are bound to get at least US$10,000.00.

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.

Don B. Conned

Now, the truth is, this scam has been passed around the internet to unsuspecting folk since at least 1999.

Following is a portion of an article by Bill Gates, which you can find here: (

Even more annoying than spam, in some respects, are hoaxes. I'm acutely aware of this because my name was recently attached to a hoax e-mail message that was widely distributed.

People embellished the fraudulent e-mail over time, as it was forwarded from electronic mailbox to electronic mailbox, but an early version read this way:

"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. I am experimenting with this and I need your help. Forward this to everyone you know and if it reaches 1000 people everyone on the list will receive $1000 at my expense. Enjoy. Your friend, Bill Gates."

The bogus message was widely forwarded, which surely led to some disappointment from people who hoped to receive $1,000 for passing along what was essentially a chain letter.

After receiving the e-mail this morning, it took me less than five minutes to locate the above article from Bill Gates, as well as numerous other articles where this scam has been fleshed out over the years. Here are a few examples;


So, here is your assignment for 2003. When you receive an e-mail asking you to forward it, for ANY cause, why not take five minutes out of your busy day to determine if the letter is in fact true. Your small, five minute investment, could save millions of others the agony of reading through these hoaxes, as well as safeguard your own reputation.

About the Author
Michelle Gonzalez is the editor of both ( and ( A mother of three, she enjoys writing articles as well as poems and stories in her spare time. Her passions around childrens literacy and good parenting led her to create her two successful ezines.


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