I rearly open e-mails that have “FW:FW:FW [forwarded at least three times)” in the subject, but this one was from non other than the president of my community college that I graduated in 2006.

(The president is a good friend; he travelled with me across America last year to help me receive my All-USA Academic Team award.)

As I opened the e-mail, I realized he had forwarded the message to several people, including me (thanks God it was not a network broadcast to all current and former students, as I thought was the case in the first place.  If it were the case, he could get sued for forwarding a spam.).

The e-mail?  One of the old, and also one of the most convincing, urban legends of all times: Microsoft and AOL will give you $245.00 for every person you forward the e-mail to.

Read carefully…THIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE TUESDAY USA TODAY – IT IS FOR REALTo all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages,
But this is from my friend Pearlas Sandborn and she really is
an attorney.

If she says that this will work – It will work. After all,What have
you got to lose?

attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured
AOL and &nbs p; Intel will follow through with their promises for
fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one
filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Dear Friends: Please do not take this for a junk letter.
Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent

Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies
and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the
most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail
beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will
track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user) For a two weeks
time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay
you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on,
Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives
it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact
you for your address and then send you a check.

Regards. Charles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations
1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX 292-1085

Thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this
e-mail and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and
within days, I received a check for $24, 800.00. You need to respond
before the beta testing is over. If anyone can affoard this, Bill gates is the

It’s all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many
people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10, 000.00
We’re not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without
getting a little something for our time. My brother’s girlfriend got in
on this a few months ago. When I went to visit him for the Baylor/UT
game, she showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and
was stamped “Paid In Full”.

If the body of the e-mail is tempting, consider the smart subject of the letter too: “FW: Fwd: Fw: PLEEEEEEASE REEEEEAD! IT WAS ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA TODAY SHOW].”

Yet the first sentence of the letter already gives a hint for an urban legend: this took two pages of the Tuesday USA TODAY.  Well, if it were the case, there would have been a link to USATODAY.com, especially that it is from Tuesday (last Tuesday).

This urban legend dates back to 1997, and the exact wording of the e-mail is at least three years old.  I found the info through http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/microsoft-aol.asp, which is the website for urban legend directories.