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Pyramid schemes are turning up more and more on the newsgroups nowadays, as each newbie thinks he/she has discovered a simple way to make some easy money. Most of them believe the disclaimers that this is actually legal (some with tortured reasoning and citings of the postal laws). Of course they are not; most countries have laws against this sort of thing. Check out the US Postal Service for their view.
These people do a cross posting to as many groups as possible, so posting a followup comment here is futile. Either they stopped in just this once to post or, much more likely, they have never been here and never will. Sending flames back to them personally is fun but not a good idea; part of my local server network broke down once because of it (see the story near the bottom).
The method I recommend is to write to their postmaster. Believe me, this does work, I have received quite a few responses saying that they either have bounced the user or have given a warning that if they ever do it again they are toast; I've gotten back as many as six in one day. Every, repeat every time you come across one of these posts do the following (forgive me if this seems obvious to some of you but I have gotten a lot of E-mail asking for specifics). The button pushes described relate to FreeAgent; if you use something else it will give you the general idea.
>just the header is enough. With the header, we can check that the
>posting was made and what kind of post it was. Sending the whole post
>uses up bandwidth, I have received this post over 200 times in the last
If we keep working at it maybe this scheme will bite the dust. Or maybe not. The least we can do is to keep stomping down each new outbreak.
A newsletter from my server had the following item:
By the way, I only cruise a few dozen boards myself so please feel free to make a copy of this and post it to the boards you visit. The wider the exposure the better.
Addendum: I received a reply recently with something I overlooked. Another way to look up the sender is to note the information on the last name on the list (#5, the one who posted it) and trot on over to www.WhoWhere.com. You can often look up the user there, including their ISP.
Another poster pointed out that your target may not even be the fifth name. Some of the copies have six names now, and others move themselves up to positions three or four to get the money flowing even sooner.
Robert Ames / email@example.com