Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You're Not Going To Get Free Stuff For Forwarding An Email

I got an email from a friend today. That’s normally a good thing, and it gave us a chance to catch up on a few things. The email had the subject of “Laptop”. The text inside the email said “Hey it’s worth a shot and snopes said it was legit” (sic).

I figured he put that last line in there for me. I’m known to within seconds of getting one of these things to search Snopes.com and utilize one of the few reasons I think a “reply-to-all” is legitimate. I do this to let everybody know that the email they sent promising free stuff or riches for simply spamming all of their friends is a hoax. Nothing but a hoax perpetrated by somebody with nothing else to do with his, her, or their life (lives) but try to see how easy it is to get sheople to spam their friends and family with stupid stuff.

The email contained one attachment, an image file, appropriately named “image001.jpg (76KB)”. I attached the image below:

image

Figure 1- Free Laptop- How Many Things Can You Find Wrong In This Picture?

As soon as I saw that, it took me less than 30 seconds to go to Snopes.com, close the pop-up ads they have, enter “Sony Ericsson Laptop” in the search box, hit this page, and discover that this whole this is a hoax just like I suspected.



This is going out as a general plea to all email using humanity: NOBODY IS GOING TO GIVE YOU MONEY OR FREE STUFF FOR SENDING AN EMAIL TO 20 PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has never happened, and it’s not likely to ever happen.

Now get off your butt, stop sending every email that promises to give you free stuff to everybody you know, and do something with your life.

I know you want something for nothing. I know. I wish somebody would just GIVE me a MacBook Pro (the 13” is fine), but that probably won’t happen. If I want the MacBook, I’m either going to have to save up for it or make more money to buy it. I have a few small business ideas that I need to implement.

While businesses do occasionally give things away, they often do it with an ulterior motive in mind: to make money. They also usually require some barrier to entry, like registration or buying a raffle ticket. Some giveaways require a little bit of work. I routinely get free books from Thomas Nelson, but in exchange I have to read and review them. And while I enjoy most of the books I’ve gotten from them, I haven’t enjoyed them all. It’s perfectly fair though; they give me free books, and I read them and write an honest review.

I’m convinced (based on actually study and observation) that people who buy lottery tickets and forward emails that promise free things, and buy infomercial “make millions with no money down, no experience, and no actual work” products know very little about how the system actually works. That’s why they’re so easy to dupe into doing these things.

If you come across a get rich quick scheme, or one of these silly emails and think “hey, it’s worth a shot” or “It can’t hurt anything”, please, do a quick search on Snopes.com or Google because it’s probably a hoax. Then read a couple of books on personal finance. I recommend starting with the titles below. They’re easy to read but very comprehensive. You can buy them from my Amazon affiliation. You can also buy books from authors like Suze Orman. I haven’t read any of her books yet, so I can’t vouch for them. Just start somewhere.
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