Software

Jeff's top ten forwarded emails

Jeff Dray recounts his top ten forwarded emails. He's looking for your favorite candidates to add to the list.

Some of these forwards have been around for years now, yet they still pop up with annoying regularity. They were unbelievable at the time; the amazing thing is that they are still doing the rounds.

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1. The one about the Microsoft e-mail tracking promising vast payments simply for forwarding mail to everyone you know. I remember being assured by a friend that this was an absolutely solid gold way to make some real cash.

2. The U.S. Navy ship ordering a lighthouse to move. Fifteen years on and this one still puts in regular appearances, it is even a Youtube video.

3. How to recognize Swine Flu. Apparently there is no other illness in the UK at the moment. What I like best is the instruction to stay at home if I show any one of the symptoms listed. Given that the symptoms described are very general, this could lead to a huge increase in absenteeism.

4. The scary pictures about driving in Bolivia. There are some spectacular pictures attached to this mail, mostly showing vertiginous mountain roads and heart-stopping precipices. While these pictures are spectacular, they are not really relevant to the everyday workings of my inbox, or anyone else’s, so if you have images you want to share, put them on a Web site and share the link instead.

5. Those forwarded carved pumpkin pictures every year; they even appear in the UK. Sadly each year we get the same pictures.

6. The one with the picture of the crash scene of the car that had a jet engine bolted on to it. Believed to be one of the early Darwin award winners but could be any idiot with a pile of junk. Every now and then this story pops up again, as though it is new.

7. The ones offering those magic blue pills that will revolutionise my private life. How dare they assume that there is a problem in the first place! It would be silly for a British person to buy these online when their local health center can supply them free.

8. Get your hair back in less than four weeks! NO chance, it’s been too long since I last had a head of hair. I would sooner spend the money on something useful. Strangely enough my wife, who has a thick mop of hair, gets this one regularly while I, bald since the age of nineteen, have never had it!

9. Invest your pension plan with **** financial services for a better return; we are the country’s top financial investment company. Yeah right! They are so well known that I’ve never heard of them, so I would be bound to trust a major financial transaction to them.

10. Pass on mail to get good luck, break the chain and have bad luck. Let’s face it, these messages are complete nonsense, but how many of you have either forwarded one or felt a momentary twinge of guilt before consigning it to oblivion with a click of the mouse? I have often wondered what the point of these messages was, other than to overload mail servers and get on people’s nerves. If everyone passed on the message to the first ten people in their address list we could have more mail than anyone could cope with, rather as though everyone of a house fly’s potential offspring were to survive we would be buried with them in a very few weeks.

If you have any "favorite" annoying e-mails that you bat away regularly why not share them with me?

25 comments
lschick
lschick

The one that put me over the top was one that tried to convince me that I should become religious. The proof was that several well known people (Marilyn Monroe was one of them)had made disparaging remarks about god or Jesus a few days before they died. Therefore, my days were numbered if I didn't act immediately. It failed to explain how so many atheists and other non-Christians had dodged the bullet. Any religious marketing schemes sent to me get the Delete button immediately but I had to reply to this one. It was just too wild. I wish I had saved it for laughs.

sdsnyr94
sdsnyr94

I personally like the jdbgmgr.exe virus. What was the point of that one? To have thousands of people delete a file that has no real necessity anyway? And why the Teddy Bear icon?

MGP2
MGP2

I used to work for a major financial institution that had approximately 30,000 employees in their email directory. One day, I got an email from someone I'd never heard of in the Pittsburgh office. In the "to" line was about 500 email addresses. It was one of those "For every 10 people you forward this to, you'll earn $xx" (not sure of the amount). Anyway, there was another email address who'd forwarded it to him, obviously a relative outside the company. But her message said, "What could it hurt?" Well, it hurt alot. By the time he got to the P's (my last initial), he'd already forwarded it to about 15,000 people. Needless to say, his name wasn't in the email directory the next day. I guess that answered the question of "what could it hurt?".

BillMlod
BillMlod

Just one question, am I ever going to Disney world for forwarding on the emails? I'd really like to meet Bill Gates there.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...had to do with a US Soldier in the Middle East, sleeping in mud and what not. I must have had people send it to me at least 10 times in a month span. While I appreciate the efforts and risks that coalition soldiers (some of whom are friends and family members) have taken on behalf of the citizens, the e-mail was just over the top cheese.

JamesRL
JamesRL

And were I over there, I'd be really PO'd if someone was trying to make political hay from what I was doing. You have to look at the motivation. The soldiers do their duty, the politicians try to turn their efforts and risks into a political wedge. James

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

...I do appreciate a story like this every once is a while: http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/Molson.dog.Afghanistan.2.1137870.html Fluff piece, for sure. However, asides from the happy ending, there is an acknowledgment of the fact that the US isn't "going it alone" in the wars. Given the way the release of the Libyan bomber was covered, it was something that was important to note, I feel.

JamesRL
JamesRL

It was indeed a provision of Scottish law which allowed the bomber to go free. But if I understand your system, Libya would have been pressuring the UK government, not Scotland directly, as Scotland doesn't maintain diplomatic contacts with other nations. It would be up to Scotalnd to make the final decision, but diplomatic pressure would have happened through the foreign office/Whitehall. I've heard today that there had been an agreement(between the Scottish justice department and Libya) that there would be no fanfare when the bomber arrived on Libyan soil, obviously Ghadaffi can not be trusted. The British Foreign Office is retaliating by cancelling a trip from Prince Andrew. James

Jeff Dray
Jeff Dray

with the release of the Lockerbie bomber. He was released under Scottish law, which is independent of UK or English law.

JamesRL
JamesRL

How can you not think someone caved to Libyan pressure when they have a big celebration for someone who is dying. If I was dying, I'd not want to make a big fuss. The Swiss people really think their government caved. If the contractors had been released at the same time, maybe they would have grumbled and gotten over it, but as it stands Ghadafi seems to be using every leverage he has to play it up. This is where Switzerland pays a price for neutrality. Can you see what would have happened if Libya had tried this with a NATO country? US Med carriers and French planes would be buzzing the borders. James

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

Honestly, I hadn't heard anything about it until you mentioned it in the post. So, Ghadafi's son gets pinched for abusing his servants (I saw three articles that all referenced them as such...so it is the wording I'm going with), and then two Swiss contractors get arrested in Libya as a response. Merz apologizes for the indignity, but the Swiss contractors remain imprisoned?!? I think I saw an episode of the Sopranos that went along some similar lines. Brilliant! ;) As for the bomber's release, I have to wonder how much the outrage would have been mitigated had he not received the type of reception he did upon touching down in Libya. If he is just quickly whisked away in relative anonymity, would half of the people who have commented on it said anything?? Oh well, in another week or so, they'll be another international gaffe/snafu/fubar to take away the attention from this one. "This week, on AS THE WORLD TURNS...." :)

JamesRL
JamesRL

It wasn't trying to hit anyone over the head though. It didn't judge the war itself, just told a story that everyone can relate to. I'm of mixed feeling on the Libyan bomber deal. I am a compassionate person, and I can empathisize with the idea of sending him home since he is close to death. On the other hand, it erodes the rule of law, and I think in the end, that has to be held as the higher good. I know there are those who think he was a patsy or that there were others more responsible. If there was anything staggeringly compelling, it could be brought forth and he could be freed on appeal. I understand the outrage by the families of the victims. I understand those who think this was Libya strongarming the UK with oil and other issues. At the base of it has to come the rule of law, not the emotions of either side. Have you heard of the outrage in Switzerland? James

JamesRL
JamesRL

I've been in two workplaces where the MS cash thing has been seen as legit by people I thought would know better. The aircraft carrier/lighthouse goes back as far as a 1939 book. There was a TV commercial in Europe that used it as well. I've never got 3,4,5,6 maybe because at both work and home I have good SPAM filters. 7,8,9,10 Rarely makes it through, though I have seen them. I still remember when the Nigerian letters came in the mail (early 90s). James

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

A great way to spread a trojan, scan and retrieve everyone's address book and build email lists for spammers. If you track that email from start to finish, you collect literally tens of thousands of email addresses. Selling them at $1 a pop to a list spammer brings in good coin. Though I think that original effort has been ignored now by people who actually get off on sharing their email address with the world.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Twits who forward this junk to me and don't know how to use 'Blind Carbon Copy". Their idiot 'friends' forward it on, exposing my address to the whole planet.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I completely agree and I always tell people not to 'To' or 'CC' me when there are multiple addresses but to BCC me instead, and if they don't I block their address from all future email, no matter how important they are. I'm with a wholesaler that works with hundreds of local businesses, if i was to send out a single email and addresses were visible, it would raise hell and lawsuits as well, something I have always been very careful of. But regardless of how you get the email, if there is a trojan, which can be asingle pixel in a picture or even a white pixel on a linked webpage, they can run a script, on unprotected browsers to retrive yuor entrie address book too. They then replicate to all addresses in the address ook and so on, it propagates VERY fast that way. It used to be quite common, and there were enough stupidstutious people that would pass them ono that it worked well. I think with today's PC's being aa bit mroe secure, people still circulate the same old crap chain emails but mainly they are just an annoyance more than anything else.

star_topology
star_topology

I can think of at least 7 anti-Obama e-mails.

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

I am not an Obama fan (a politician from Illinois is a politician from Illinois, after all). That said, some of the stuff I've seen (especially lately) about him are pretty ridiculous. "Death Panels" takes the cake, though. I've had a couple things sent to me about this, and I've wanted to scream each time.

JamesRL
JamesRL

He is less likely to get US political ones James

catpro-54
catpro-54

h3LL if I don't forward it to every person I know. Kind of gives me a twinge every time I delete it. Also the sidewalk art--same pictures from 2001 every time.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

So that I can go there. All of the interesting people go there, anyone want me to save a seat?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

And the cold beverage of your choice. We'll be waitin' for ya!

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

The bogus bill before congress allowing the U.S. Postal Service charging 5 cents for every e-mail sent or received in the U.S. This one appears a couple times each decade.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've never seen that one, or the one about Bolivian roads. I'm tired of 'missing child' alerts that don't specify any useful details, like the date the child went missing, physical description of the child, etc. Just a description of the suspected vehicle designed to get you to call 911 every time you see a 'white late model Cavalier'.