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What's the scam? (was: what´s the prize?)

On Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003, at 17:02 US/Eastern, david albarran wrote:

hi! i want to know what this is about. and if i won a prize tell me as soon as you can i¥m the 50,000,000 th user, so show me the money.

OK, we get a fair number of these. So do some other people. None of the claimants ever seem to respond when asked about the details. From googling, here are some other references:


Some other discussion about it, where it was apparently an ad on the website. But we don't have ads on debian.org, so can't be this:

Note sure what this is, didn't bother to read it --- I just google ;-) OK, actually, I did read it, and it appears to be a helldesk person complaining about a luser. Search for "50,000,000"
This may be related, but not quite the same. Search for 50,000,000 on the page:

Interestingly, none of this seems to be posted to, e.g., NANAE.

Personally, I sort of suspect address collection or other scam. I suspect this because of all the messages we've gotten, and all I can find on the web, the are quite similar in ways you would not expect, such as putting the commas in "50,000,000". No one wrote "50000000" or "50.000.000". I'd expect that if these were messages generated by confused lusers, we'd see more variation in them.

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