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Bill Gates Microsoft AOL spoof fake news scam

No, you’re not going to be receiving money, merchandise, or free trips from Bill Gates (or anyone else), no matter how many people you forward this message to. At the time this gag started running, tracing all recipients of an e-mail message was not yet technically possible, and even if it were, Bill Gates certainly wouldn’t have been testing software that performed such tracking by blindly sending messages out to the Internet with a promise of financial reward to the recipients. That folks continued to fall for myriad varieties of these leg-pulls was in part attributable to netizens having caught so many references to these non-existent programs that newer versions of the hoax were able to continue building on an already partially-constructed platform of belief.

Any “get something free” come-on or “help a sick kid” appeal of this nature which specifies an invisible program is keeping track of who received an e-mail and who it was then sent to is a hoax. Any such note. No exceptions. Not even ones not yet listed on this page.

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