7 On Your Side: Chain Letter Circulating East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/28/08-Tyler

7 On Your Side: Chain Letter Circulating East Texas

We got our hands on two versions of this chain letter, saying you can make $250,000 in weeks.

Just send a dollar to each of the names on the list and watch your money grow!

"Nobody is gonna walk away with a quarter of a million dollars from a chain letter!," says Kay Robinson, President of the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas.

The Tyler BBB says chain letters are the oldest scam in book and it seems like whoever initiated this one knows it.

The letters claim Oprah Winfrey and ABC's 20/20 have proven it can be done.

7 On Your Side contacted both camps.  ABC News responded saying, "We know nothing about these letters nor does 20/20 or ABC News have any involvement with these letters. We find it misleading and completely inaccurate to imply that 20/20 would be a 3rd party endorsement."

Say you did get a list together and mailed these letters with money inside.  Well you've just committed a crime.

Chain letters are a form of gambling and according to the U.S. Postal Service, sending them through the mail is against the law.

"We had someone, several years ago here in Tyler, that was doing one of these letters. And the postal inspectors came, we worked together and they were able to find them and shut him down," says Robinson.

Even these testimonials would make it appear these letters work.  A tactic the BBB says targets the vulnerable.

"Why do people come in [the BBB office] day after day, call day after day, about scams that they hope that you'll say, 'Oh no this is not a scam, go ahead and do it.' And of course we don't do that we always let them know," says Robinson.

The best advice if you get this letter: shred it to pieces.  Instead of finding out the hard way there's so such thing as a get rich quick.

Christine Nelson,  Reporting cnelson@kltv.com

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