David ?rogues? letters a rip-off
By HUGH KEARNEY
IT'S a scam and a con, and no-one should be sucked in by the talk of bags of money landing in your letter box. Murwillumbah resident Ray Clarke wants to warn everyone about a get-rich scheme doing the rounds by chain letter. Ray said he has received two David Rhodes chain letters in the past month promising he will magically receive more than $77,000 in the mail within 60 days if he sends $10 to just one person on the list, then sends out the letter to 200 more people. The letter claims the scheme is a legitimate business opportunity and is legal as long as participants include a note saying the $10 is a gift. "It's a straight-out scam and it should be banned," Ray said. "These things might work out well for the people who start these schemes up, but you don't have to be a genius to work out they run out of steam pretty quickly. "I chucked the first one in the bin then had a laugh when I got another one a few weeks later. "You would have to be an idiot to even contemplate doing it, but I suppose there must be some suckers out there, probably young or elderly people who don't understand how it works. My advice is throw it straight in the bin." A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Fair Trading said regardless of what the letter stated, the scheme was illegal and people promoting it or participating in it faced prosecution and fines up to $22,000. The spokesperson said Australia's fair trading agencies with the co-operation of Australia Post had seized 80,000 illegal David Rhodes chain letters this year in a national approach to stopping the scam. She said Fair Trading had so far written to 900 people seeking confirmation that they had ceased participating in the scheme and made efforts to return any money received. For more information visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.