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Poll: What do you do when you receive a chain letter in your e-mail?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 2, 2007 5:48 AM PDT

What do you do when you receive a chain letter in your e-mail?

-- Read and forward it, as instructed.
-- Read and delete it.
-- Read it and reply to sender to tell him/her to stop sending spam.
-- Delete it without reading it.
-- Flag the sender as spam, even if that person is a friend/family member.
-- Set up a special filter/folder for that sender's e-mails.
-- Other (Please explain.)

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I read it and delete it

in most cases. Sometimes, if it's cut enough, I'll send it on but remove the bottom of it.


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(NT) Poll results are 101% at this time
by PudgyOne / November 3, 2007 12:21 PM PDT
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I don't forward chain letters!
by milkmaid / November 10, 2007 4:26 AM PST

For one thing they are usually fake or or impossible.
And my friends would hate me for forwarding it to them.

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I do...
by glenn30 / November 2, 2007 7:26 AM PDT

For the most part "Read and delete it" but sometimes "Delete it without reading it". This is useless mail especially when asked to return it if not forwarded. Those senders have "rocks" in their head! I never return them. It's a crazy world! Sad


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Read, Reply & Chide, Delete...

Each time my cousin sends me some such foolishness-- the only person on the planet who seems to do so-- I reply and chew her out for such foolishness and then delete the silly thing. Sometimes she'll fight me for a couple of iterations but the thread usually dies quickly... with no lessons learned on either side.

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check author, check subject, ...

... maybe read a sentence, then delete. Happens essentially every time.

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Here's a chain letter that was sent to me. Is this legit ?
by drdu / November 2, 2007 8:10 AM PDT



>To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages,

>But this is from my friend Pearlas Sandborn and she really is

>an attorney.

>If she says that this will work - It will work. After all,What have

>you got to lose?


>attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured

>AOL and &nbs p; 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


>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.


>Regards. Charles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations

> 1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX 292-1085


>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 check for $24, 800.00. You need to respond

>before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this, Bill gates is




>It's all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many

>people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10, 000.00

>We're not going to hel p 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".

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by Hershel D. Smith / November 2, 2007 9:31 AM PDT

And I'm the reincarnation of Jesus!

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I would like some more information about this
by lippaint / November 3, 2007 1:27 AM PDT

I am currently filing for bankruptcy as a result of being assaulted at work in march and fighting workman's comp all this time. I need all the help I can get. Please give me details as I am living day to day and often skip meals so that my daughter can eat. I would be eternally grateful for anything that would even half that amount of money. I've been selling everything I can in an effort to pay my taxes for my house since the ones from January haven't even been paid yet and I just got the September bill.
Thank You,

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Chain Letters
by ws6vivi / November 4, 2007 5:38 AM PST

You can not be for real? You can not believe that a chain letter will bring you hundreds of dollars. Just check out that one is not true. You have to find other means to fix your situation.

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Absolutely not
by befie / November 4, 2007 1:31 PM PST

I must have received this one a dozen times!. Always check if you really feel something is worth forwarding and you aren't afraid of embarrassing yourself.

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Chain Letters on E-mail
by kyrhett / November 2, 2007 8:10 AM PDT

Disposition depends on subject of letter. If contents of letter are suspect I usually give it a "Snopes" check. If invalid message I normally send them correct info and tell them to "pass it back". I rarely pass chain letters on.

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e-mail etiquete in regards to chain letters
by margsi2 / November 2, 2007 8:15 AM PDT

If the letter is from someone I know, I read it. Depending on it's informative value or if it's something I want to share, I forward bcc sending the original to myself. If necessary, I trim all former addressees and any information that is not pertinent to the message. However, most chain letters have no value for me and I just delete.
Normally, I would not do a reply to all, as I think there is usually no reason to send a mass reply. I would send bcc only to individuals who would need to receive a reply and again, address the original to myself.

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Delete, pending who sent

99% of the time I delete chains pending who sends it. If it comes from a user I know, and from a server thats trustworthy (non commercial) I'll take it.

There is one emailer I have who 4wards everything to me and I have yelled at them by email and voice NOT to do it. I don't like chains that can track back 5 or 6 generations. That is simply a security risk that a lot of the newbies don't grasp. If you insist on forwarding it, do a simple copy and paste and start a new chain by breaking the chain so there is an interuption in the forwarding process and it then can't be backtracked except to the new message originator.

I'll do the same thing if I was sent an interesting email. In the process you are seen as the originator of the message if you do a backtrace if it ended up getting forwarded a few times. The following senders will have tags on it as well.

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E-Mail Etiquette
by rocky1 / November 2, 2007 8:29 AM PDT

I typically just delete them, after shaking my head. If they suggest you've got to send them back to the original sender to tell them you love them, I may take the time to reply, but I never forward such. Anything I do forward, jokes or other meaningful info, I delete all e-mail addresses attached before forwarding.

Dependent upon content, sometimes I will advise the sender that the information is erroneous. Sometimes I take the same approach Brian did, it's totally dependent upon whether the e-mail is something that's going to cause someone harm. Such as e-mail hoaxes suggesting you remove files from your computer that are harmless operating system files. As Brian did, I generally back it up with links to fact, supporting my claims that the original information was in error.

If the original sender takes offense, then I simply tell them they should do their homework before sending such goodies out. And, find some satisfaction in knowing that I have spared several folks on that mailing list the trouble incurred in such matters.

As has been suggested above, one should never send mass mailings, including everyone's e-mail address. Set up a dummy account to send to yourself, address it to "Friends", "Special Friends", "Folks I care about", "My Joke Mail List" or something, then load everyone you want to send to in BCC. If it's a select bunch of friends that you share everything with, setting up a mail group to send is fine, but I often find that we "all", as individuals, have different things that are kind of iffy in our respective lives, and that method will eventually cause you to step on someone's toes. Much easier to set them up in a folder, and include them individually in BCC than risk hurting a friend's feelings.

I also make a point of explaining these methods of mailing occasionally to those who have a bad habit of forwarding countless addresses, although it usually goes unheeded! And, I keep all of my security software up to date, knowing I'm on those folks mailing list! /o:?

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chain letters
by lynknez / November 2, 2007 8:30 AM PDT

I consult on all suspicious chain-letter e-mails. If it is a hoax/urban legend, I forward the Snopes explanation page to EVERYONE on the receiving list... in the hope that it may stop someone from forwarding it on.
Some are sort of cute; however, as the one I received today:

Subject: Drivers License

Check your Driver's License

I definitely removed mine. I suggest you all do the same. Now you can see anyone's Driver's License on the Internet, picture and all!

Thanks Homeland Security! Go to the web site, and check it out.

It's unbelievable!!! Just enter your name, city and state to see if yours is on file.

After your license comes on the screen, click the box marked "Please Remove." This will remove it from public viewing, but not from law enforcement. Please notify all your friends so they can protect
themselves too.

Believe me they will thank you for it.

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Snopes is my friend
by hortonwho / November 2, 2007 9:10 AM PDT
In reply to: chain letters

I agree with the snopes post with one exception. Depending on what the material is I usually just reply to the sender and give them the option to send out a retraction. If the subject is something rather serious, like the ones that tell you to delete "virus" files off your computer, I will reply to all in the hopes that no one deletes critical files from their computer.

As mentioned in another post, I think most of the people sending out chain letters (like my daughter) are naive to the fallacies on the net and think they are doing everyone a favor. I do try to educate people like that, even when something comes from a trusted source you should always verify anything you are going to send out; use your head and don't perpetuate false information. If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't.

As for the people that send out the cutesy chainmails I simply let them know I don't want those types of email and ask them not to send them anymore. If they continue I simply delete them without reading knowing in my heart that person cares about me and is simply sharing in the way they think most appropriate. That might now always be true but it keeps me from getting angry at people I care about.

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Marked as spam

I immediately mark any e-mails I receive as spam. Everyone I care about receiving e-mail from knows my stance on this, and anyone else, if they're dumb enough to go along with it, well, they're not worth the space in my inbox.

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Mark all e-mails as spam???!!
by sleeppro319 / November 2, 2007 10:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Marked as spam

Guess that keeps your inbox empty. I suspect that you don't mark ALL your e-mails as spam. Glad I'm not in some of ya'lls address books. Those e-mails that state something is true-I check out at Snopes or Smoking Gun. Those that are bunk I trash, the others I forward to a few select people in my address book. For those e-mails that are wishing me a blessed day, sending me a prayer, telling me how much they care for me-of course I read them and send them back to whomever sent them to me plus I send them to others that I want to say the same thing to them. In these busy days where we are seperated by thousands of miles, forwarding a cute e-mail that says you are missed and loved is better hitting the delete button, in my book anyway!!

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I create a smart folder
by arturodiaz148 / November 2, 2007 11:00 AM PDT

Some times people ask me if I have read the chain mail they sent me. I never read the mail but I keep them in a smart folder just in case I they ask me too. Some times when the mail is really, really stupid like a hoax (aka. mail that states that MS is bad and will charge for msn so we have to unite as users) I reply them explaining them that everything is just a lie. There are friends of mine who mail me really afraid of what will happen with msn service.

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chain letters

1. I inform friends I don't do chains. They rarely violate

2. I don't snopes anymore. I use to and inform them about the status but I don't care to help them along that way anymore. I classify them as new and unlearned in the ways of the internet. If it continues, I delete everything they send, unread

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Stop the Chain!

If it is an obvious or old chain letter that is some kind of hoax, I'll find a good website that exposes the email for what it is, then send a link to that website back to the sender of the email. Usually doing a web search for a particular phrase in the email, or even the subject will return good results.

For chain emails that are just "feel good" emails, I usually just delete them without reading it.


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I hate chain letters

When I realize that someone (against my stated wishes) sends me a chain letter, I immediately delete it. I often send them a reminder that I do NOT forward any religious or any other tyoe of chain letter. all of my contacts have asked for this consideration. If a friend wants to send me a friendship letter & tell me that it is not necessary to forward it, unless I chose to, that is a different situation.

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Chain letter

I read it & send it back to the sender. No one else get's it. so as for as they know I sent it off to others to for they know I use the bcc on my emails. They are good meaning friends & I want to keep it that way.

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Chain letters are only one step above spam as far as unwanted mail and I are concerned. I like to think that my friends are mature, intelligent adults but some of them still forward this crap to me.

Make it stop! Make it stop!

Sometimes I will politely remind them to leave me off the chain mail list but I had one person go all crazy and get upset about it. So mostly I just see that "forward to x people" line and hit the delete button as fast as humanly possible.

And guess what? No fire and brimstone, bad luck of any of that. Why people fall for that malarkey is beyond me.

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Spam, Indeed!
by cattluvver / November 2, 2007 9:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Delete-delete-delete

I can't agree with you more! Most of my friends are all over the age of thirty, and I get shocked when I get insane chain letters from them! I was in shock yesterday when I got a "send this back" type one from a forty-plus year old, very intelligent friend yesterday.

I check my mail and as soon as I see what it is, if it's a chain letter, it goes in the trash.

I'm equally as shocked that I almost got into a fight with a friend whom I wrote to asked her to not send me those types of E-mails and also told her that it's tacky to put all people's names in the "TO" section.

I think that being online for about 15 years has shown me that, frighteningly, a lot of people don't really have much tact.

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What do you do with chainletters?

I reply to the sender with info I have on chainletters, ask them not to send any to me again, this works for most of them but with a few I have to resort to deleting them unread!



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Receipt of "chain mail"

If it is blatant advertising, ie. variations on spelling of Viagra, I list it as spam (which doesn't help a bit). I have several e-mail acquaintances across the country and they often send me humor or other chain mail thoughts (mostly political or religious). Most of the humor I save, a lot I forward to others in the chain, some I delete. I would never label something from an acquaintant spam, I would consider it insulting.
One day I will make a cd of all the humor I have received and send copies to all those in the chain.
I have also thought about saving all the e-mail addresses on the chain mail in a separate file. Since I am retired it wouldn't be onerous but I'm so busy answering the chain mail I probably won't get around to it until I'm bed ridden.

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Chain Mail

There are whole lot of curmudgeons out there!

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I answered other and thought I would explain
by Achinn / November 2, 2007 10:18 AM PDT

I answered other and thought I would explain what I do: If it is one of those mails that has "been around the world 100 times", I reply to the sender that I have seen this before and won't be forwarding it (this presumes that I know the sender. If the sender is NOT known, I delete it without opening it). If it is a NEW e-mail, I use SNOPES to verify that the e-mail is not false. If it's false, I notify the sender that it is bogus and I will not be forwarding it on. If it is TRUE and not ancient (in this day and age "ancient" is 1 month
Happy ), I decide if it is worth forwarding and act accordingly. Bottom line, it may be delete without reading, read and delete, read reply to sender and delete, or read and forward as appropriate.

Andrew "dajerkymon" Chinn

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