Money "chain letter" (Springfield type Pyramid scheme).
Described - no text. 10 names, $2 ante, two copies. Avoids mail.
"Mr. A makes up a list of 10 names
(himself and pals presumably) and goes personally to Friend B and sells
him the list for $2. B then sends another $2 by mail to the name at the top
of the list, in the presence of Mr. A, and puts his own name at the bottom
of the list.
B then makes two copies of the list and sells them at $2 apiece to Miss
C and Mrs. D and the chain is under way, each sitting back and waiting for
the dividends to come in by mail.
Lists in evidence around Washington carry warnings against mailing any names
or instructions, the theory being that this will make it hard for the [Post
Office] department to do anything."
Published: The Post-Standard
(Syracuse, New York), Aug. 21, 1947, p. 8. NEW CHAIN LETTER CRAZE FOR $2,048
FAILS TO HIT CITY.
"A new 'chain letter' craze - baited with a $2,048
lure - apparently has not filtered its way into Syracuse, local postal officials
said yesterday following announcement by the The Associated Press from Washington
that a 'wave is sweeping thru the nation.' ¶ ... Difficulty with
the latest version of the quick money scheme is that it is not actually a
'chain letter' but chain money - at $2 a throw - mailed without explanatory
inclosure, the postoffice department in Washington revealed. ¶ However,
the federal inspectors asserted that 'the transmission of the $2 by mail without
the chain letter list constitutes a violation and any person participating
in the scheme either directly or indirectly is subject to criminal prosecution
for using the mails in furthering a lottery.' ¶ ... If convictions are
obtained ... maximum penalties of $1,000 fine and two years imprisonment may
be invoked under the lottery statute for a first offense, and five years for
a repeat offense."
Entered by DWV, Aug. 12, 2014. This pyramid scheme was abundant around
1947, judging from the many newspaper reports on it. Apparently, editors were
reluctant to include the exact text of the hand transmitted list of instructions.
This reluctance to publish pyramid scheme instructions has continued.
The Paper Chain Letter Archive
- contents Chain Letter Evolution - a history.