Money chain letter. "As seen on Oprah"
Five pages of text. Six names, $1 to each name. Copy quota
200. US, 2009. Comments by DWV.
Page 1: "As
seen on Oprah" pitch (below)
Page 2: "Retired
"Dick Hollman" testimonial & instructions
Participants list, computations, suggestions
Page 5: Testimonials
Analysis by Daniel W. VanArsdale
AS SEEN ON OPRAH AND
MAKE $250,000 IN WEEKS
***Oprah Winfrey and ABC's investigation team
prove it can be done***
***Proven by various, highly-respected U.S. TV
and Radio programs
as being 100% legal, feasible and true***
IF A 15 YEAR OLD BOY CAN MAKE $71,000 IN
JUST 5 WEEKS AND
OTHERS $250,000 IN A FEW WEEKS, SO CAN
THIS REALLY CAN MAKE YOU EASY MONEY!! IT WORKS!!
BUT YOU HAVE
TO FOLLOW THE LETTER FOR IT TO WORK!! THIS IS NOT
is people helping people
I came across an article
similar to this that said you could make thousands of
dollars within weeks with an initial investment of
The truth is you can
expect to spend the following:
paid to the names on page 4.
for 200 peel and stick addressed mailing labels.
for 200 sets of copied letters
Your estimated total investment of $199.00
If after reading all
of the pages you don't think this is worth $199.00, a
small investment for a very large return, then
you must be happy with your
All of the Pages, Before Making Your Decision.
I HAVE RECEIVED THE
FOLLOWING INFORMATION AND IF YOU WILL TAKE TIME TO
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO
READ IT, I BELIEVE IT WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO YOU!!!
Greetings! I am a retired attorney. Approximately
two years ago a man came to me with
a letter similar to this one. He asked me to verify
the fact this letter was legal. I told him
I would review it and get back to him. When I first
read the letter a week and a half
later, we met in my office to discuss the issue. I
told him the letter he had originally
brought me was not 100% legal and I advised him to
make a small change to the letter
so it would be.
I was still curious about the letter, so he explained
how the letter works. I thought it was
a long shot and decided against participation. However,
before my client left I asked him
to keep me updated as to his results. About two months
later, he called to tell me he
had received over $800,000 in cash. I did not
believe him; he suggested I try this idea to
find out for myself. I thought about it for a couple
of days and decided I did not have
anything to lose so I asked him for a copy of the letter.
I followed the instructions
exactly, mailed out 200 copies and sure enough the money
started arriving! It came
slowly at first but after three weeks, I was getting
more and more mail than I could open
in a day. After about three months the money stopped
coming in. I kept a precise record
of my earnings and at the end it totaled $958,493!
I was earning a good living as an attorney. However,
as everyone in the legal profession
will tell you, there is a lot of stress that comes
with the job. I told myself if things worked
out, I would retire and play golf. I decided
to try the letter again, but this time I sent out
500 letters. Well, three months later my income was
$2,344,178!!! I just couldn't
believe it. I met with my old friend for lunch to find
out how it worked. He told me there
are quite a number of similar letters like this going
around. What makes the difference
is there are six names on my list, not five like many
others. That fact alone resulted in
many more returns. The other fact is that the whole
program is very legitimate. No one
wants to participate in something illegal.
I'll assume by now you are curious to know what little
change I told him to make. Well, if
you sent a letter like this one out, to be legal you
must actually be selling something, if
you expect to receive a dollar. I told him that anyone
sending you a dollar must expect to
receive something in return. So, when you send a dollar
each person on the list, you
must include a slip of paper with the words "Please
put my name on your mailing list."
This is the key to the program. FOLLOW THE SIMPLE RULES
ON PAGE 3 EXACTLY AND
IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS YOU SHOULD RECEIVE OVER
Be honest and this will work for everyone. Thank you!
name is Dick Hollman. In October 2003 my car was stolen,
and my apartment was
Bill collectors were hounding me like you wouldn't believe. I was
laid off and
my unemployment insurance
ran out. In the following day's mail I received a letter
me how I could make over $800,000 any time I wanted
to! Of course I was skeptical, but
I was so desperate and had nothing to lose, I gave it
a try. In January 2004 my family and
I went on a ten-day cruise! In February I bought a
new Cadillac with cash. Today, I am
currently building a second home in Virginia, and I
will never have to work again. This
program works perfectly. I have never failed to make
$800,000 on each mailing. This is a
great business opportunity, a perfectly legal money
making program. It does not require
you to sell anything or come in contact with anyone.
Best of all, the only time you leave
your home is to mail the letters and that's easy!
I'm sure you could use $800,000 in the
next 20 to 90 days. Please study this letter carefully.
THIS IS NOT A CHAIN LETTER!!!
This is a perfectly legal money
making opportunity. Please be sure to follow the
as they are written.
° Immediately send $1.00 to each of the
six names listed below and request your name
be added to the mailing list. *This is the step that makes the program
Remove the name in the number 1 position and move each of the names
place (#2 becomes#1, #3 becomes
#2, etc.) Put your name in the sixth position (an
easy way to do this is to retype
the list with your name last, tape it in the proper
position and photocopy).
After completing the above instructions, photocopy or print 200
copies of the five
page letter. Purchase a mailing list of
names from DATA LINE ONE. Data Line One is a
member of the Better Business Bureau and
they only provide names of opportunity
seekers like you. They sell a list of
200 names for only $45.00, they also ship next day
C.O.D. The best part is the names come
on self-adhesive labels; you just peel and
stick right to your envelop. Just
call 1-800-497-**** and they will have them delivered
to you within five days. The company accepts
VISA, MASTER CARD, DEBIT
CARD, and CHECK OR C.O.D. to make it more
convenient for you to get started. You
can also visit www.d**********.com.
While waiting for the mailing list to arrive, place each of your
200 copies (or more if
you want to make the bigger bucks) into
business size envelopes and seal them. Go
to the post office and purchase 200 of
their .42 cent stamps and place them on your
envelopes (the post office sells rolls
of 100 self adhesive stamps for your
Once the list arrives, immediately place an address label on each
envelope and drop
them into the mailbox. Within 20 to 90
days you should receive over $800,000 in
cash! Now here is the interesting part;
the first time I participated in this program I
kept an accurate count of my letters and
my response rate was 9.5% and the second
time it ws 11%. This system was made for
the purpose of quickly accumulating
capital. Honestly, when you send 200 copies
of this letter and each responsible
person sends out their 200 copies, your
fortune multiplies rapidly. Very few people
need to respond for this to work. Remember this is legal.
(Refer to Title 18 sections
1302 & 1342 of the U.S. postal and
lottery laws on the internet.)
1. Cole *************************
Bismark, ND 58504
2. Hollie ************************
West Mifflin, PA 15122
3. Brandon **********************
Henderson, NV 89014
4. Rosevelt **********************
Minneapolis, MN 55408
5. Susan ************************
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
6. Deborah **********************
Long Grove, IL 60047
As a conservative rate
of response, assume for example you get a 7% return rate.
(my first attempt was
about 9.5%, and my second was 11%)
When you send out 200
letters, 15 people will send
you $1.00 = $15.00
Those 15 people send
out 200 letters. 210 people send you 1.00 = $210.00
Those 225 people send out 200 letters. 3,150 people send
you 1.00 = $3150.00
Those 3,375 people send out 200 letters. 47,250 people send
you 1.00 = $47,250.00
Those 50,625 send out 200 letters. 708,750 people send you
1.00 = $708,750.00
AND THAT'S ONLY A 7% RETURN RATE!!!!!
AT THIS POINT YOUR
NAME IS DROPPED FROM THE LIST, BUT YOU
HAVE RECEIVED $759,375.00!!
It works every time.
On the above example, you started with 200 at 7% return rate.
I GUARANTEE THIS MATH
IS CORRECT. YOU CAN CHECK IT OUT
YOURSELF! WITH THIS
KIND OF RESPONSE, YOU'VE GOT TO TRY IT!
Here are a few tips
I have learned: (merely suggestions)
1. After receiving
your mailing list, mail the letters as soon as possible while
is still fresh.
2. When you handle
a lot of letters, an electronic opener is great!
3. File your response
alphabetically to track your earnings.
4. STAY COOL...keep
your job until you have time to plan your next step.
5. Sow 10% of your
new income to charitable contributions (**TITHING**) you
reap what you sow.
6. Put 20% into savings;
set aside 10% for your net project or mailing list, 10% for
30% for taxes, and 20% to play with. Not Enough??? Mail! Mail!
7. Note: when you send
out these letters, you are in the mail order business. People
are sending you $1.00 to be put on our
[sic] mailing list. This is a legal and helpful
service. See Title 10, Sections 1302 & 1342 of the U.S. Postal
and Lottery Laws.
8. If you have tried
this system before and it has failed, it was probably because you
mailed them to your friends...NO KIDDING!!! This time, get the mailing
labels and SHARE THEM WITH YOUR FRIENDS AFTER YOU HAVE
PROVED THIS WORKS!!!!
"I am naturally skeptical and I have
received at least 35 letters similar to this one
A BELIEVER AND AM TOTALLY CONVINCED IT WORKS.
in a six month period. There was however, something
about this one that I liked.
It takes less investment than some others do, and all
the participants receive
money, not just the top one. Anyway, I sent out 250
letters and hoped for the
best. Nothing happened for 11 days but on the
12th day I received $90.00. Over
the next 4-1/2 months, I received over $800,000 cash
in the mail. I am doing it
now with 1,000 letters". . . . .Jay Masterson
I wanted to try a similar program in which it costs
$5.00 for 5 names and much
more expenses, but at the time I didn't have the money
to invest. The first time I
sent this letter, I got my expenses back in one week!
After a short time, I got well
over $800,000 and now I am trying it again! Good luck
to you all, it really
works!" . . . . . .Sandra Frisch
"When I got this letter
I said yeah sure, and pitched it. Then later I remembered
hearing that skepticism breed's failure, while belief
leads to success. So I
rescued the letter, ordered a fresh mailing list and
sent them out. Thank heaven I
did! In a few months I paid off all my debts, cut up
my credit cards, now I can pay
for everything is cash and it feels great! I love buying
what I need without paying
interest". . . . . Roland Siegerot
"We will invest in lotteries, enter sweepstakes, clip
etc. We need to invest in one another. Maybe you are
not in need
of money - then do it for someone else. For a neighbor,
student, endowment fund, etc.
HELP EACH OTHER TO FULFILL OUR DREAMS AND FUTURES
Photocopies of word processor originals -
five pages. Mailed to a town in New Hampshire in Feb., 2009. No
return address, postmark illegible. Lines and general format preserved
in the above transcription. Provided by K. Martindale. Entered by
Paper Chain Letter Archive file name: me2009-02_oprah_s1x6q200_5pp (htm extension)
The Paper Chain Letter Archive
- content Chain
Daniel W. VanArsdale
I will not consider here whether this chain letter
was ever seen on Oprah, whether it is legal or not, or whether you
can trust strangers to send you a dollar even if they send out copies
themselves. Instead I will compare it to other such creations in years
past and consider what its own claims of success imply. Analysis of the "As
seen on Oprah" chain letter.
This "Oprah" chain letter is very similar to a letter
from 2005 [see me2005-08_retired_s6usdn6q200]
1. A new cover page has been added, which starts: "As
seen on Oprah."
2. Parts of the 2005 letter have been reorganized and
presented with very few internal changes. Thus the "Retired attorney's
statement" [page 2], the "Dick Hollman" testimonial [top of page
3], the rules [bottom of page 3] , the suggestions [bottom of page
4] and the concluding testimonials [page 5] are little changed from
corresponding parts of the 2005 letter. To see this, compare the "Roland
Siegerot" testimonial here to the "R. Siergerot"
testimonial on the 2005 letter, here.
3. Only one supplier of a mailing list is recommended
in this letter, whereas in the 2005 letter three suppliers were
There can be no reasonable doubt that the
above "Dick Hollman" testimonial is a fictional rewrite of an
earlier "Dave Rhodes" testimonial (also fictional). An early
example of this Dave (or David) Rhodes testimonial appears in a
1986 money chain letter (Rhodes).
Consider that these letters claim Rhodes and Hollman BOTH:
(1) were laid off and their unemployment insurance
had run out
(2) used these exact words to describe their plight:
"The bill collectors were hounding me like you wouldn't believe"
(3) lost cars; Rhodes to repossession (in
1983), Hollman to both repossession (in 1983, see 2005) and theft in 2003,
(4) made fortunes with a chain letter
(5) went on 10-day cruises with their family
(6) bought a Cadillac
(7) built a second home in Virginia.
Finally, consider the claim in this "Oprah" chain letter
that an unnamed attorney made $968,493 and $2,344,178 using the
letter. That requires a total of 3,111,671 letters received, each containing
one dollar. An empty envelope and a dollar bill weigh about .15 ounce.
Some arithmetic then reveals that this attorney would have to have received
about 14.5 tons of mail. If it takes just 10 seconds to remove the bill
from an envelope, it would take one person working without a break
about a year just to remove the bills. And if each of these 3,111,671
participants themselves sent out 200 letters as instructed (which we
should expect they would since they have sent back a dollar), a total of
622,334,200 letters must have been mailed. That makes two for every man,
woman and child in the United States. I suppose this could happen (something
like this did happen in 1935). But if so, I do not think one should expect
to make any more money with the same letter.
Daniel W. VanArsdale, March 10, 2009
The Paper Chain Letter Archive
- content Chain
Daniel W. VanArsdale