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AOL/Intel Merger Hoax  

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(This one of several variations of the e-mail being distributed)

|| The True Facts ||

Date: (varies)

> I'm an attorney, and I know the law. This thing is for
> real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through
> with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion
> dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by
> PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.
> We're not going to help them out with their e-mail beta
> test without getting a little something for our time.
> My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago.
> When I went to visit him for the Baylor!/UT game. She
> showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and
> was stamped "Paid In Full". Like I said before, I know
> the law, and this is for real. If you don't believe me
> you can email her at She's eager to
> answer any questions you guys might have. Intel and AOL
> are now discussing a merger which would make them the
> largest Internet company and in an effort make sure that
> AOL remains the most widely used program, Intel and AOL
> are running an e-mail beta test. When you forward this
> e-mail to friends, Intel can and will track it (if you are
> a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For
> For every person that you forward this e-mail to,
> Microsoft will pay you $203.15. For every person that you
> sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you
> $156.29 and for every third person that receives it, you
> will be paid $17.65. Within two weeks, Intel will contact
> you for your address and then send you a check. I thought
> this was a scam myself, but a friend of my good friend's
> Aunt Patricia, who works at Intel actually got a check of
> $4,543.23 by forwarding this e-mail. Try it, what have
> you got to lose????

The above e-mail is one of many Internet hoaxes and is completely false. The true facts are:

  1. America Online (AOL) merged with Netscape (1998) and Time Warner (2000) not with Intel. Intel is a manufacturer of computer micro processors and would be of no asset to AOL. Mergers of this kind must also be approved by the company's shareholders, and of course no shareholders have been notified.

  2. The tracking of e-mail has not yet evolved to the realm where it can be tracked; however it can be traced back to the sender's Internet Service Provider (ISP). From there, with help of the sender's ISP (usually not forthcoming unless some law has been broken), the person who sent the e-mail can be identified by the order in which he or she logged on to the ISP. Also, in certain instances, thanks to Microsoft's GUID encoding, the e-mail's author can also be indentified (this is how they caught the author of the Melissa virus).

  3. If AOL and Intel are the merging entities, then why would Microsoft be paying you? This in addition to Intel also sending you a check as mentioned in the e-mail. The author of this hoax forgot to change the company name. This hoax is a bad take off from the previously reported AOL/Microsoft Merger Hoax.

  4. AOL is already the largest Internet provider with some 24 million users. Its recent merger with Time Warner makes AOL the largest media company as well. Even if AOL were to merge with Intel, this would not increase the number of AOL users as Intel has none.

  5. PepsiCo and General Electric are not involved in any litigation with each other nor have they been. PepsiCo is a beverage and snack company whereas General Electric is an electronics and appliance manaufacturer. The two companies would have nothing to sue each other over. In addition, a class action lawsuit involves one person suing another on behalf of a particular class of the general public. Class action status must first be obtained by court order. There is no record of any such court order being entered anywhere in the Nation nor are there any press releases mentioning the lawsuit from either company.

  6. The e-mail address, as listed in the e-mail, is also bogus. Baylor University has never issued an e-mail address under the name of "jpiltman." If you send an e-mail to the address you will receive an instant automatic reply from the Baylor University server informing you that the e-mail is a hoax and asks you to visit this page before you forward it onto others.

    In view of the above,

    Nothing in the above e-mail even comes close to being true; and based upon all of its inconsistencies and falsities, it has been dismissed as a really bad hoax. It is yet another myth attempting to make people think that the Internet will make them a millionaire without any effort, which is simply untrue. This e-mail runs around in varying forms every few months. Don't let yourself be fooled!

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