Re: (here are the laws)Easy Money on the NET

Shade (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 04:59:01 -0900

(Your letter has been fowarded.)

I have included 2 links to the postoffices web page for those that want
more information. This is an ILLEGAL SCAM do not join in one of these
chain letters.

A chain letter is a "get rich quick" scheme that promises that your mail
will soon be stuffed full
of cash if you decide to participate. You're told you can make thousands
dollars every month if
you follow the detailed instructions in the letter.

A typical chain letter includes names and addresses of several
whom you may or may not
know. You are instructed to send a certain amount of money--usually
$5--to the
person at the top
of the list, and then eliminate that name and add yours to the bottom.
You are
then instructed to mail
copies of the letter to a few more individuals who will hopefully repeat
entire process. The letter
promises that if they follow the same procedure, your name will
gradually move
to the top of the list
and you'll receive money -- lots of it.

There's at least one problem with chain letters. They're illegal if they
request money or other items of
value and promise a substantial return to the participants. Chain
letters are
a form of gambling, and
sending them through the mail (or delivering them in person or by
but mailing money to
participate) violates Title 18, United States Code, Section 1302, the
Lottery Statute. (Chain
letters that ask for items of minor value, like picture postcards or
may be mailed, since such
items are not things of value within the meaning of the law.)

Recently, high-tech chain letters have begun surfacing. They may be
disseminated over the Internet,
or may require the copying and mailing of computer disks rather than
Regardless of what
technology is used to advance the scheme, if the mail is used at any
along the way, it is still

The main thing to remember is that a chain letter is simply a bad
You certainly won't get
rich. You will receive little or no money. The few dollars you may get
probably not be as much
as you spend making and mailing copies of the chain letter.

Chain letters don't work because the promise that all participants in a
letter will be winners is
mathematically impossible. Also, many people participate, but do not
money to the person at
the top of the list. Some others create a chain letter that lists their
numerous times--in various
forms with different addressee. So, in reality, all the money in a chain
going to one person.

Do not be fooled if the chain letter is used to sell inexpensive reports
credit, mail order sales,
mailing lists, or other topics. The primary purpose is to take your
money, not
to sell information.
"Selling" a product does not ensure legality. Be doubly suspicious if
a claim that the U.S.
Postal Service or U.S. Postal Inspection Service has declared the letter
legal. This is said only to
mislead you. Neither the Postal Service nor Postal Inspectors give prior
approval to any chain letter.

Participating in a chain letter is a losing proposition. Turn over any
letter you receive that asks
for money or other items of value to your local postmaster or nearest
Inspector. Write on the
mailing envelope of the letter or in a separate transmittal letter, "I
received this in the mail and believe
it may be illegal."

[Inspection Service Seal] United States
Postal Inspection Service

Mail Fraud and Misrepresentation

Title 18, United States Code

Section 1341. Frauds and swindles

Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to
defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or
pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan,
exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure
unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or
other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to
such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such
scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or
authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to
sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be
deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any
private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives
any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or
such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at
it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed,
such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
more than five years, or both. If the violation affects a financial
institution, such person shall be fined not more than $ 1,000,000 or
imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

Section 1342. Fictitious name or address

Whoever, for the purpose of conducting, promoting, or carrying on by
of the Postal Service, any scheme or device mentioned in section 1341 of
this title or any other unlawful business, uses or assumes, or requests
be addressed by, any fictitious, false, or assumed title, name, or
or name other than his own proper name, or takes or receives from any
office or authorized depository of mail matter, any letter, postal card,
package, or other mail matter addressed to any such fictitious, false,
assumed title, name, or address, or name other than his own proper name,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years,

Section 1345. Injunctions against fraud


(1) If a person is -
(A) violating or about to violate this chapter or section 287,
371 (insofar as such violation involves a conspiracy to
the United States or any agency thereof), or 1001 of this
(B) committing or about to commit a banking law violation
(defined in section 3322(d) of this title), the Attorney
may commence a civil action in any Federal court to enjoin

(2) If a person is alienating or disposing of property, or intends
alienate or dispose of property, obtained as a result of a banking
violation (as defined in section 3322(d) of this title) or property
which is traceable to such violation, the Attorney General may
commence a civil action in any Federal court -
(A) to enjoin such alienation or disposition of property; or
(B) for a restraining order to -
(i) prohibit any person from withdrawing, transferring,
removing, dissipating, or disposing of any such property
property of equivalent value; and
(ii) appoint a temporary receiver to administer such
restraining order.

(3) A permanent or temporary injunction or restraining order
shall be granted without bond.
(b) The court shall proceed as soon as practicable to the
and determination of such an action, and may, at any time
final determination, enter such a restraining order or
prohibition, or take such other action, as is warranted to
prevent a continuing and substantial injury to the United
or to any person or class of persons for whose protection the
action is brought. A proceeding under this section is governed
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, except that, if an
indictment has been returned against the respondent, discovery
governed by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.