Friday, April 07, 2006

Get Rich Quick!

I recently received a letter in the mail asking me to participate in a "program" which promises to bury me in money within three months.

This is an old scheme, and I have seen it before, myself, but I have never known or heard of anyone who has tried it.

It goes like this.

The letter that I received has six names and addresses on it. I am supposed to send one dollar bill to each of the names on the list, and wrap it with a note reading "Please add me to your mailing list." Then, I remove the top name, move all the other names up one space, and add my name to the bottom.

I then buy a list of 200 names and addresses from a mailing list company, for $37.00. (The company information is conveniently provided right on the letter.)

I then will print up 200 copies of the letter, with my amended list of names to the 200 people from my list, and mail them out.

Within three months, I am supposed to receive over $800,000 in the mail, one dollar at a time.

I am supposed to wait about six months and do it again, this time with the names from the notes I receive with each dollar bill. (It's supposed to work better the second time around...)

I was about to throw the letter away, but I started thinking about it, and I will admit that I am intrigued.

The first major problem that I see with it is that most people, I believe, would simply throw it away rather than participate. (Like I almost did.)

But what if they didn't?

Let's say that I sent out 200 letters, and of the 200, 5 people responded. I would receive $5.00. Then they sent out 200 letters each with my name on them, and 5 of those people responded.

I would receive $25.00.

Then those 25 people sent out 200 letters each, and 5 of those people responded.


These 125 people send out 200 letters, I receive $625.00.

These 625 people send their letters, 5 of each group respond, and I receive $3125.00.

Those 3125 people send their letters, and I would receive $15625.00. By now, I have received $19,530.00.

And that's with five participants from each group of letters.

When you run the numbers with 20 participants, instead of 5, it goes into the millions. WAY into the millions.

I'll need a ream of paper, 206 envelopes, about $85.00 for postage, and $37.00 for my mailing list. Total investment will be about $140.00, and if the money starts coming in, then my job becomes opening mail, compiling a mailing list, and disposing of used envelopes (for $1.00 each.)

But I could use an extra Twenty Grand. (At least...)

It's an interesting concept.

I think I'm going to do it. So if you receive a letter like this in the next few months, go ahead and do it. You might be contributing to the Tugboatcapn Early Retirement Fund. (And you might get rich yourself in the process!)

What do you think?

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