You’re always guaranteed to see a chain letter of one form or another bouncing around on a social network or in a mailbox, and here’s one such missive currently in circulation.

It claims Microsoft and AOL are running a form of email beta test with big cash rewards for anybody forwarding on the email – $245 every time you send it on, $243 every time a contact resends it and $241 for every third person that receives it.

The catch here is that the text – which is clearly supposed to be sent to email addresses – has been posted to a social network comment box on a profile page instead.

chain letter

It’s such a wall of text that attempting to copy and paste in here would take forever, so feel free to check out this post on Google Groups¬†from way back in 2005 where this thing was already filling up mailboxes and causing a bit of confusion to boot.

It was nonsense then, and it’s nonsense now.

Amazingly, the mail from 2005 even sports the same phone numbers as the social network post from a few days ago – if they even belonged to whoever started the chain in the first place, it’s extremely likely that they’re long since abandoned.

Even so, you can’t keep a good scam down and so eight years after it rolled into town the fake Microsoft / AOL beta payout bonanza continues to find new life, as it moves from mailboxes to social network comment boxes in a desperate attempt to live on for a few more years.

Think twice before forwarding chain letters and let’s see if we can prevent this one from leaping back to mailboxes after its short vacation.

Christopher Boyd