Fun_People Archive
19 Apr
Gerber Gold - Scam or Urban Legend?

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 98 00:55:44 -0700
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Gerber Gold - Scam or Urban Legend?

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649

Dear Fun_People:

    Alright, already!  I received a small barrage of mail from people who are  
convinced the Gerber Baby Food Settlement story is a scam.  Personally, I'm  
convinced it's not a scam, just an urban legend; that is to say, although it's  
not true, it's just one of those appealingly credible but untrue stories that  
hang on; it wasn't designed by some malefactor as a way to make a profit.

    What leads me to this conclusion?  A tiny bit of research does.   
Everyplace that I found the Gerber story debunked (including the official  
statement from the Gerber company - last in the list below) it was pointed out  
that the mail box that was given is one that had been associated with a  
legitimate baby food settlement but that is no longer in use.  All the mail  
sent to it is returned by the Post Office.  This is not a scam to get social  
security numbers (as many seem to believe) unless the Post Office is secretly  
x-raying the mail before returning it...  Hmmm...  Naaah....

    There are numerous web sites whose purpose is to keep track of viruses,  
hoaxes, scams, and (or) urban legends.  Here are a few:
        CIAC Security Web Site
        Computer Virus Myths home page
        The AFU/Urban Legends Archive
        CNET features - how to - virus
        ASSIST Home Page
        SARC - Virus Encyclopedia
        Scam Alerts
        Gerber Hoax

and here is the Gerber Company's official statement about the story:
        Gerber - Story

    This list is repeated (without the Gerber Company site) at the end of  
this message in HTML form for anyone who would like to use it as the basis for  
a little virus/urban legends/scams web page, or for those of you sick enough  
to be using HTML in your mail reader (shudder...)

    Anyway, the chance that you will be given a shiny new $500 savings bond  
for sending your child's birth certificate to the specified box number is darn  
near pretty close to just about approximately zero (like your chance of  
winning the lottery) so why not save yourself the disappointment and just send  
me my 10% directly, figuring that if you sent in a birth certificate and got  
nothing back you would have lost $250 (the purchase price of a new $500 US  
Savings Bond), plus $.32 for the stamp, plus $.10 for the photocopy.  But by  
taking my advice and sending nothing in, you avoid losing $250.42 and you know  
that a penny not lost is a penny saved is a penny earned... so my cut should  
be $25.04 or $24.88 if we split the price of the stamp.  Thanks.

    One final bit of advice -- always read (and write) your email with your  
brain turned on.  When your brain is on vacation, don't let any part of your  
body work overtime, especially the communicating parts (take it from someone  
who has tried it both ways).


 -=[ P. Langston - - - Seattle, WA ]=-

<title>Viruses, hoaxes, scams, &amp; urban legends</title>
<li><a href="">CIAC Security Web Site</a>
<li><a href="">CIAC Internet Hoaxes</a>
<li><a href="">CIAC Internet  
Chain Letters</a>
<li><a href="">Computer Virus Myths home page</a>
<li><a href="">The AFU &amp; Urban Legends Archive</a>
<li><a href="">CNET features -  
how to - virus</a>
<li><a href="">ASSIST Home Page</a>
<li><a href="">SARC - Virus  
<li><a href="">Scam Alerts</a>
or Unable to Deliver &quot;Virus&quot; Hoax - U-M VirusBusters</a>

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