Subject: Warning - Dave Rhodes and Other Chain Letters

Last-Revised: 6 Sep 1994
Contributed-By: Mark Hall, George Wu, Steven Pearson, Chris Lott (contact me)

Please do NOT post the "Dave Rhodes", "MAKE.MONEY.FAST", or any other chain letter, pyramid scheme, or other scam to the misc.invest.* groups.

Pyramid schemes are fraud. It's simple mathematics. You can't realistically base a business on an exponentially-growing cast of new "employees." Sending money through the mails as part of a fraudulent scheme is against US Postal regulations. Notice that it's not the asking that is illegal, but rather the delivery of money through the US mail that the USPS cares about. But fraud is illegal, no matter how the money is delivered, and asking that delivery use the US Mail just makes for a double whammy.

Note that when someone posts this nonsense with their name and home address attached, it's fairly simple for a postal inspector to trace the offender down.

Although the "Dave Rhodes" letter has been appearing almost weekly in misc.invest as of this writing, and it's getting pretty old, it's mildly interesting to see how this scam mutates as it passes through various bulletin boards and newsgroups. Sometimes our friend Dave went broke in 1985, sometimes as recently as 1988. Sometimes he's now driving a mercedes, sometimes a cadillac, etc., etc. The scam just keeps getting updated to keep up with the times.

To close on a funny note, here's a quote from the "Ask Mr. Protocol" column of the July 1994 (v. 5, n. 7) SunExpert magazine:

Rhodes (n) - unit of measure, the rate at which the same annoying crud is recycled by newcomers to the net.

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