Mail from email@example.com, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, recieved by email@example.com, excerpted:
Our closest friend JEFF WEST needs a KIDNEY DONOR NOW!The letter goes on to explain that it is possible to donate one kidney and live a normal life (which is true), that the operation takes only a few hours, and that most donors are back on their feet in "a short period of time" (3-6 weeks before resuming normal activity level, according to most information). The operation, it claims, is free (Also technically true; the recipient's insurance will pay for the entire operation if it covers anything at all).
Jeff West, one of Brian Garvin's Marketing Directors and a dear friend to Bill, Kathy, Brian, Jerome and many more of us, has a hereditary illness that as of a year and a half ago has killed both of Jeff's Kidneys. This is not uncommon to the West Family as Jeff's Father, Brother's and other close Male relatives also have had problems with their kidneys.
Unknown to 99.99% of you, Jeff had been going to the Dyalisis Treatment Center in Virginia every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday for a very long time and now the doctors are saying it could be another 2 years waiting for a donor kidney match to come available. In short, Jeff's health is starting to deteriorate and if we cannot find a donor FAST he will continue to get worse, which will in turn pull him off of the transplant list permanently.
He cannot afford to wait and we all can help by getting this letter to every person on every list you have,
if you do not have a list then send this to your friends and family. We need your help to get this letter around
the whole world.
WE KNOW THERE IS AT LEAST ONE PERSON OUT THERE IN OUR INTERNET FAMILY THAT IS WILLING TO PART WITH ONE OF THEIR OWN KIDNEY'S TO HELP JEFF LIVE AND LEAD A NORMAL HEALTHY LIFE.
Jeff is only 25 Years Old and really needs your help: whether it be in prayer or in Blasting this eMail to your entire data-base or even just an encourageing word to this eMail box: [email omitted] Any or all of these things would be greatly appreciated.
They suggest that you have the following qualifications: Blood type Rh-negative, O-positive, or O-negative (From this I would infer that "Jeff West" is a type O-negative recipient...), and that if you are, you go see your doctor to be tested.
It then provides phone numbers to contact Jeff and two of his friends. One of these phone numbers does, in fact, reverse-lookup to someone with the right last name. His number is in the eastern part of Virginia (consistent with the e-mail), and the other two are in the western part of Kentucky (which I found curious) An e-mail address is also provided (through AOL).
The letter concludes as follows:
P.S. Please donate just ONE HOUR of your time and send this ad out to all your ezines, leads, newsletters, safelists, downlines friends, family and associates everywhere.All in all, there's nothing on the face of the letter to suggest it's a hoax. Recent statistics suggest that 1/4 of Americans would consider donating a kidney to a stranger. Nonetheless, I am profoundly disturbed.
To stop further mailings or to change your details, click on this link: [link to getresponse.com's unsubscribe page]
- The mailing list it was sent to was a free E-books list that I have never gotten e-mail from before, which means they bought my address from someone.
- I find this entire setup both suspicious and counter-productive, akin to stuffing mailboxes in a city halfway across the country with flyers. Jeff, the e-mail claims, is a dear friend to many people. Have they all been tested for donation?
- Curious that all of his "close male relatives" have been excepted (because they've had problems with their kidneys), but the letter says nothing about any female relatives. The most likely donor match for a kidney is, after all, a blood relative, and I refuse to believe that Jeff doesn't have any healthy female relatives.
- Forgive my cynicism, but a letter that plays on the heartstrings like this - purporting to be regarding a marketing director of a company and sent under that company's ausipices - with no website to go visit and see the facts, no specific information about his disease, prognosis, or possible treatment options, and nothing but a name and a phone number to base your trust on...raises serious questions in my mind.
Perhaps it's real. I'm not saying it can't be real. What I am saying is that there's something seriously disturbing about this setup. It feels like a cross between a chain letter and someone's idea of a sick joke. There are just too many missing pieces...