Why do some emails urge (desperately) to forward to all your contacts?

by msafi 6 replies
This is one of the few mysteries in my life; why do some emails ask you very urgently and desperately to forward the content of the email to all your contacts and friends? From examining the content of such emails, there doesn't seem anything to be gained by the originator of the email.

Of the last two emails I received of this kind: one was for a "chance to win an Ericsson laptop" by forwarding to all your friends. Obviously, such an Ericsson laptop doesn't exist. And the other email was an alert for a missing child. What was disturbing in that last email is that it's clear that the sender of the email doesn't really care about locating the child as much as they clearly care about getting this email forwarded as many times as possible. For example, they don't tell you where/when/how the child went missing but they repeatedly tell you to forward the email...

What I don't understand is the motive for the original sender of the email. What is there to be gained by these forwards?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #contacts #desperately #emails #forward #urge
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    In some cases, it's the online equivalent of a chain letter. In your example of winning a laptop, my guess would be a link to a CPA offer or a phishing attempt. In the case of the missing child, my guess would be spreading some form of malware - virus, trojan, adware, who knows...
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  • Profile picture of the author msafi
    John, I would have easily detected something like an affiliate link; same for malware. But the emails don't contain anything like that.

    My wife suggested that it might be an email harvesting scheme, which seems plausible since most people forward in the carbon copy (CC) field and not the blind carbon copy (BCC) field. Many people also include the sender of the email in the reply or forward, in which case the original sender will get a chance to collect a bunch of emails.
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    • Profile picture of the author koolmeg
      [quote=msafi;766519]My wife suggested that it might be an email harvesting scheme.../quote]

      This seems likely to me....

      Easy for people to forward a trap!
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I've been trying to figure this one out myself for years.. no linnks, no nothing besides some cooked up story and the ever present 'send this to everyone you know'.

    remeber the old "microsoft is testing new email tracking software. Bill gates will send you $5 for every person you forward this to"? lol...
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    -Jason

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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      I've been trying to figure this one out myself for years.. no linnks, no nothing besides some cooked up story and the ever present 'send this to everyone you know'.

      remeber the old "microsoft is testing new email tracking software. Bill gates will send you $5 for every person you forward this to"? lol...
      And the free dinner at Olive Garden...

      My dad used to forward these to me and then call me and ask how he can claim his "reward".

      Then there was the day he called and asked who ran the internet and how to get ahold of them because he wanted to file a lawsuit.... that was a good one...
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  • Profile picture of the author koolmeg
    Maaan I remember those emails!

    If only I COULD get that kind of money for forwarding to my contacts!

    I'd sell em all out ha ha ha
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