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Hotmail Overload

Netlore Archive: Six variations on an email hoax claiming that Hotmail has become overloaded and users are required to forward a chain letter to prove their accounts are still active.

Description: Email hoax
Circulating since: Oct. 1999
Status: False

Below are six variants of the same hoax.

The premise is that Hotmail, the free Web-based email service owned by Microsoft, doesn't have the capacity to service all of its members and must therefore employ a chain letter to identify infrequent users and cancel their accounts. Piffle.

From a Microsoft spokesperson: "It's a chain email that is a hoax. There is no truth in it whatsoever." Enough said.


October 1999
Contributed by Gary Fukuda, 10/11/99:

Subject: Fwd: Warning - Hotmail users
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 1999 20:59:10 EDT

WARNING WARNING
Hotmail is overloading and we need to get rid of some people and we want to find out which users are actually using their Hotmail accounts. So if you are using your account, please pass thise-mail to every Hotmail user that you can and if you do not pass this letter to anyone we will delete your account.

From Mr. Jon Henerd
Hotmail Admin. Dept.


December 1999
Contributed by John Groneman, 12/19/99:

Subject: Hotmail shutting down!!!!
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 16:13:39 PST

Dear Hotmail User,
Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to Hotmail, it has come to our attention that we are vastly running out of resources. So, within a month's time, anyone who does not receive this email with the exact subject heading, will be deleted off our server. Please forward this email so that we know you are still using this account.


February 2000
Contributed by Carolyn Fugit, 02/06/00:

Hotmail Users:

Four of Hotmail's most valuable computers were destroyed in a severe storm. There is not room for every user that used Hotmail before to continue using Hotmail. In order for the Hotmail company to continue you in their unit, you MUST send this to at least eight people in order to continue your use because if you do not have eight people our company gets the idea that there are other people that need to use it more than you. Please forward this on to eight people or you will not continue use with Hotmail.

Joan Carte
Hotmail Coordinator


March 2000
Contributed by Stacy Spaulding, 03/13/00:

* * *DEAR HOTMAIL USERS * *

Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to Hotmail, it has come to our attention that we are vastly running out of resources. So, within a month's time,anyone who does not receive this email with the exact subject heading, will be deleted off our server. Please forward this email so that we know you are still using this account.

!!!WARNING WARNING!!!

Hotmail is overloading and we need to get rid of some people and we want to find out which users are actually using their Hotmail accounts. So if you are using your account, please pass this e-mail to every Hotmail user that you can and if you do not pass this letter to anyone we will delete your account.

From Mr. Jon Henerd
Hotmail Admin. Dept.


Early April 2000
Contributed by Shia Levitt, 04/05/00:

Subject: Fwd: Do NOT delete this, this is extremely important that you read this and send it !
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 11:00:41 PDT

Urgent: Please Forward!

Hello to everyone from the Hotmail Headquarters! This is just a little test to see who is actively using their email account and in effect deleting all inactive users accounts. This process will make the whole site faster and easier to use for the active users. Now on to what to do with this email. All you have to do is forward this on to at least 10 registered Hotmail users. If you don't forward this on within 48 hours of reading it, your account will be deactivated momentarily until you contact Hotmail Headquarters.


Mid-April 2000
Contributed by Eddy Groen, 04/19/00:

Dear Hotmail User,

Our hotmail system is getting to crowded!! We need you to forward this to at least 20 people. I know this seems like a large number, but we need to find out who is really using their account.

If you do not send this to at least 20 Hotmail members, we will delete your account. Sorry for this inconvenience.

Sincerely,

Director of Hotmail Services,
Aaron Lopez


Read more:

Microsoft Hotmail Users Receive Hoax Email Threat
NY Daily News, 1 July 2000

Update:

Hotmail Hoax: 'My Account Is Active'
2001 version of "Hotmail Overload"


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