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Bureau of Indian Affairs Email Beta Test Hoax

Summary:
Message claims that the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Special Trust are running an e-mail beta test and that participants will be paid just for forwarding emails (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, August 2007)
Subject: BIA Reimbursements

HIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE INDIAN COUNTRY TOMORROW, THE NAVAJO TIMES & THE RIO GRANDE SUN- IT IS FOR REAL

To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages (which you all know), but this is from my friend Pearline Sandborn and she really is an attorney.

If she says that this will work - it will work. After all, what have WE ALL got to lose?

SORRY EVERYBODY ... I JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! I'm an attorney, and I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will follow through with their promises for fear of losing a multi-million dollar class action suit (Cobell vs. The U.S. Department of the Interior) similar to the one filed by Pringles Potato Chips against Frito-Lay not too long ago and the AOL/Microsoft deal that just occurred.

Dear friends, please do not take this for a junk email. If you ignore this, you will repent later.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Special Trust are running an e-mail Beta Test. When you forward this e-mail to friends, BIA and OST can and will track it for a two week time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, the Bureau of Indian Affairs will pay you $5.00 from the Office of Special Trust Fund. For every person that you send it to that then forwards it on, the BIA will pay you $4.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $2.00, and so on and so forth.

Within two weeks, the Bureau of Indian Affairs will contact you for your address and then send you a check.

I thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on. BIA contacted me for my address and within days, I received a check for $24,800.00. I also found that the Govt. and BIA felt so bad for the land that has been stolen from Tribes and the mis-management of Trust Funds belonging to various tribes that BIA sent a me an apology letter. You need to respond before the Beta testing is over.

Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10,000. We're not going to help them out with their e-mail Beta test without getting a little something for our time. My brother's girlfriend's college roomate got in on this a few months ago. When I went to visit them for the Gathering of Nations pow wow, she showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid in full"




Commentary:
This email message claims that the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Special Trust are together conducting an "email beta test" and will pay recipients for participating. According to the message, recipients will be paid for every copy of the message that they forward to others and the BIA and the OST will "track" the forwards for a two-week period and subsequently send them a check.

These absurd claims are entirely untrue. In fact, the message is nothing more than a slightly mutated clone of the long-running Money from Microsoft hoax. This version alters a few details and substitutes the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Special Trust in place of Microsoft and AOL.

In all probability, this version is intended as a spoof of the first and may have been created by a person disgruntled with the conduct of the named organizations. Claims in the message that the BIA stole land from tribes and mismanaged trust funds suggest that this version of the old hoax was penned by a person with an axe to grind.

Of course, it is simply ridiculous to suggest that the BIA, or Microsoft for that matter, would even contemplate giving away money just for forwarding an email. No sane company or organization is ever likely to conduct a promotion in which participants are paid or receive goods just for forwarding emails. Moreover, there is no reliable or ethical method of tracking the journey of a particular email forward. Any message that makes such claims is sure to be a hoax.

Unfortunately, many gullible recipients continue to fall for these foolish hoaxes and hit the forward button without due forethought. Versions of the same basic hoax message have now been cluttering inboxes around the world for a number of years. If you receive one of these messages, please let the sender know that the email is a hoax. And don't risk your own credibility by forwarding it "just in case its true".

References:
Microsoft Email Beta Test Hoax Continues
Money from Microsoft Giveaway Hoax

Last updated: 3rd August 2007
First published: 3rd August 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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