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Make money fast

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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"Make money fast" was a title of an electronically forwarded chain letter which became so famous that the term is now used to describe all sorts of chain letters forwarded over the Internet, by e-mail spam or Usenet newsgroups. In anti-spammer slang, the name is often abbreviated "MMF".


The original "Make Money Fast" letter was written in 1988 by a person who said his name was Dave Rhodes. Biographical details are not certain - in fact, it's not clear that this is the person's actual name - but it is often said Rhodes was a student at Columbia Union College, a Christian college in Maryland, who wrote a text file chain letter titled "Make Money Fast", and uploaded it to a nearby BBS. The scam soon reached the Internet, where it was forwarded over e-mail and Usenet. although it wasn't until spamming became a major problem in early-to-mid 1994 that "Make money fast" exploded.

The text of "Make money fast" originally claimed to be "perfectly legal." It encouraged readers of the email to forward one dollar to a list of people provided in the text, and to add their own name and address to the bottom of the list. Using the theory behind pyramid schemes, the resulting chain of money flowing back and forth would supposedly deliver a reward of thousands of dollars to the ones participating in the chain, as copies of their chain spread and more and more people sent one dollar to their address.

In fact, the idea of a money-forwarding email letter turned out to be worthless. When the popularity of the Internet exploded in the mid-1990s (and spamming became a serious problem), literally millions of copies of "Make money fast" were forwarded to unsuspecting Internet users by thousands of different persons. It became one of the most annoying and persistent spams in existence. It was soon decided by anti-spam activists and Internet service providers alike that "Make money fast" was worthy of being deleted immediately upon being spotted, and users forwarding the chain letter would swiftly have their accounts terminated.

Variations on "Make money fast" have evolved, usually by spammers who change the subject of their email to "This really works!," "Try it, it works!," or "You are a winner!"

As for Rhodes, details remain elusive. A common tale is that he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison and wrote his own Web site denouncing "Make Money Fast" as part of the sentence. References to the site are common online, but the site itself is believed to be a hoax.

MMF parodies

The chain letters follow a rigidly predefined format or template with minor variations (such as claiming to be from a retired lawyer or claiming to be selling "reports" in order to attempt to make the scheme appear lawful). They quickly became repetitive, causing them to be bait for widespread satire or parody. For example, one parody claimed to be the first such chain letter, saying that palæontologists recently deciphered a statement painted on a cave wall that begins "MAKE SPIKY CLUBS FAST!!!

In some cases, the parodies have been mistaken as being real (and the original posters mailbombed or reported for net.abuse) by readers who stop at the words "My name is Dave Rhodes..." and read no further.


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