This article is from the Jobs FAQ, by Snoopy snoopy-at-sopwith.uucp.
The following guideline is borrowed from Gene Spafford's article
"Answers to Frequently Asked Questions", in news.announce.newusers.
I have this great idea to make money. Alternatively, wouldn't an
electronic chain letter be an nifty idea?
In a few words: don't even think about it. Trying to use the net
to make vast sums of money or send chain letters is a very bad
idea. First of all, it is an inappropriate use of resources
(arguably, so are most of the newsgroups), and tends to use up
vast amounts of net bandwidth. Second, such usage of the net
tends to produce extremely negative reactions by people on the
net, adding even more to the volume -- most of it directed to you.
Users, particular system admins, do not like that kind of
activity, and they will flood your mailbox with notices to that
effect. Third, it's just stupid -- even more so than the other
stupidity on the net.
And last, and perhaps most important, some of this activity is
against the law in many places. In the US, you can (and will) be
reported by hacked-off system administrators for suspicion of wire
fraud or mail fraud (if you are asking people to mail something to
you or others). In one incident, at *least* a half dozen people
reported the person to the Postal Service inspectors; I'm not sure
what the outcome was, but it probably was not a nice experience.
Bottom line: don't try schemes to sell things, solicit donations,
or run any kind of pyramid or Ponzi scheme. Also, don't start or
support electronic chain letters.
And if the preceeding didn't convince you:
Subject: 'Make Money Fast' Scam
[Moderator's note: this posting is approved on behalf of the FBI, which
has stepped in to investigate the massive spree of fraud being committed
by the MAKE.MONEY.FAST posters.]
To the USENET Community:
You may be familiar with a rash of postings to various newsgroups by
various entities purporting to describe a scheme by Mr. David Rhodes
of Oxford, Kentucky on the subject of "Make Money Fast." These schemes
have as their theme a list of people to whom you, the mark, should send
money -- followed by reposting of the article with your name added to
the list. In this wise, the scam purports, everyone who participates
will become fabulously rich.
The FBI wishes to inform you that under no circumstances should you:
1) Believe that this scam will work. It won't. It's a classic con
principle to promise massive returns on your meager investment.
2) Participate in the re-posting of the article. If you do so, you
are guilty of a Class IV felony.
3) Propagate this scam further in any way.
We wish to further inform you that cases are pending in the federal courts
against several individuals who disregarded U.S. statutes and attempted to
defraud their fellow citizens.
Finally, we wish to inform you that David Rhodes himself is in a Federal
Correctional Institution for his part in the origination of this scam and
will not see the light of day until the year 1997, barring parole or
pardon from higher authority.
Thank you for doing everything you can to stamp out this scam. Confidence
men benefit no one but themselves. Don't fall victim to schemes like this.
Q-14 What about multi-level marketing?
Discussion of multi-level marketing belongs in the newsgroup
alt.business.multi-level. It does not belong in misc.jobs.