Free money and Outback Steakhouse gift certificates await those who forward an e-mail tracking e-mail everyone in their address book. But like all of the emails promising big money and free stuff for annoying your friends and family, the RH Power Inc./Outback Steakhouse e-mail is a hoax.
Here’s the original e-mail:
Date Collected: 4/1/2001
We have rented an email tracker for the next 3 months!
We at RH Power Inc. want to see how many people our email can reach in this time!
If you forward this mail, you will be PAID MONEY! ! ! !
This email must be sent immediately upon receiving this for it to be counted.
For every person you send this to you will receive $413!
For every person they send this to you will receive $139!
I too (Ryan LaGrange, Head Marketing Manager), thought this was a hoax until I did the same this and the next month got a check for $4612 in the mail!
IF YOU SEND THIS TO AT LEAST 15 PEOPLE RIGHT AWAY, A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE WILL POP UP ON YOUR SCREEN PRINT OUT
Gotta try it just for the $25 certificate!
Jo & Bob Wagner
The cliches “Hope springs eternal” and “there’s a sucker born every minute” nicely sum up e-mail tracking hoaxes like this one. Despite the fact that e-mail tracking programs don’t exist, despite the fact that no one has ever received a dime for forwarding one of these things, they continue to circulate the net like mental pollution.
- E-mail tracking programs don’t exist: I may have to learn Spanish just so I can figure out a new way to say this: E-mail tracking programs do not exist.
- Huh?: The e-mail makes no sense. It’s signed by “Jo & Bob Wagner, Outback Steakhouse”, yet they had to forward the e-mail to 15 of their friends before they believed that they would get a $25 gift certificate to their own company. How stupid is that?
- Outback Steakhouse denies it: Ah, but here’s the good bit — I contacted Outback Steakhouse, and here’s what they said (Feb 13, 2001): “Thank you for your e-mail. The chain e-mail you have received is not in any way affiliated with Outback Steakhouse. As with Gap, Bath and Body works, etc. many large companies are targeted with such fraudulent problems. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate you coming directly to us for the answer to your question.” Read their original e-mail.
And of course, if you don’t believe me (or Outback), you can prove it yourself — forward the e-mail to 15 friends and see if a gift certificate pops up on the screen. Of course, don’t say I didn’t warn you… You can find more coverage of this hoax here: