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06 December 2007 @ 12:06 pm
Help Someone  
OK, you know me, I'm cynical and 'Net-savvy enough to not go posting and promoting scams. I don't believe things until I've had a chance to check them out, make sure of what the situation is, etc. So, if I'm dropping something like this on you, you can be pretty sure that I'm serious.

So, what I want you to do for me is to click a link. Hey, do it once a day, and that's even better. For that click, you'll get a text file. One, small text file. All it says is this:
Hi, my name is Erin and I'm a 29 year old single female living in the United States of America.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for downloading this document. I'm trying to get enough downloads to qualify for a monetary payout of MegaUploads Rewards program. Let me explain why.

I suffer from two neurological disorders (Chiari malformation and cranial lesions) that will require a combined total of 2-4 brain surgeries. I'm unemployed and uninsured and the state I live in is so broke, they have strictly limited who qualifies for Medicaid. Because I have no children and am not pregnant, I don't qualify.

I have been working with several hospitals and organizations in my area to get the care and treatment that I need, but have only made so much progress. Bottom line: In the USA, if you don't have insurance, the healthcare system doesn't exist for you. I have had a surgical consultation and it has been recommended I have the first brain surgery as soon as I possibly can. The only catch is that there will be a deposit required ranging anywhere from $1500-$5000 dollars. I have not worked for almost a year and therefore do not have this kind of money.

Living with a Chiari malformation is painful and exhausting. Living with cranial lesions in addition to the Chiari? Is beyond any kind of description.

I've thought about the different ways I can try to raise this money. I don't like asking for handouts or charity of any kind, so I have hesitated in giving my PayPal information as a solicitation for donations.

Then, I came across the MegaUpload reward program and used part of what little money I do have to set up a paid account for two months for $11.99. This program states if I get 5 million downloads, they will pay me $10,000. There a few stipulations: only one download per IP address per day, only downloads made from qualifying countries, no attempted manipulation or fraud to earn more points.

I don't know if this is too good to be true, but I figure it's worth a shot. If I can somehow reach enough people who would be willing to take time out of their day, hopefully more than just one day, to download this virus free text document, I may be able to get the surgery I need to continue living.

Again, I thank you for downloading this file and if you choose to do so, for sending the link to people you know asking them to download.
So, there you have it. If that didn't tell you everything you want or need to know to do this, then feel free to hit projectdownload and read more. In fact, I'd like you to note that two days ago, Erin had a pair of severe seizures, and is now in the hospital with 18 months of her memory gone.

Again, you all know me. I'm a skeptic, and, yes, this does come off sounding like a scam, which is why I didn't buy it, and checked into it myself. Between my own looking and it being vouched for by people I respect, I feel good enough about it to not only click-a-day but to pass it along.

Think of it as your good deed for the day, and all it takes is for you to hit one link and get a text file which you can then delete, sight unseen, since you already know what it says.

Thanks for taking a minute to read.
Current Music: Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Somewhere Over The Rainbow
My Life As A Military Wife & Motherbabyinga on December 6th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
I clicked. I know the cost of medical care all too well between myself and Kira. If you did the research I feel safe clicking. Besides if something happens to my computer from the downloads I'll just send it to you for repair! LOL
Kellykwsapphire on December 6th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
I've been clicking for months now. I don't think it's even possible to attach a virus to a text file, but I promise this text file is clean. :)
Super President Chestnut Mayor: waponi wubryce on December 7th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
Well it would be possible to label a trojan horse as a text file, but it would be evident immediately -- actually, if the executable were made to look just like notepad, it could go unnoticed. It'd be a larger file though.

Not to imply that that's what this is, of course. I'm clicking it too. :)
Kellykwsapphire on December 7th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Ahh, I see. You can actually change the extension on an .exe to something else and have it still work? O_o that's scary..
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on December 7th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
Or write something that, when opened, would LOOK like Notepad opening up with particular text, but would be executing something in the background. This would, though, be a much larger file than 3kb.
Kellykwsapphire on December 7th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
But you can see the filename when you click, it says "File name: whatthisis.txt" - could you have the extension say .txt but it still be an executable?
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on December 7th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
Not as far as I know. But you know how people are, they don't pay attention to little things. ;)
Super President Chestnut Mayor: HAL 9000bryce on December 7th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Well no, with the .txt extension it would try to open it in notepad rather than execute it. But what you could do is name it something like "readme.txt.exe" and rely on some people not knowing better. Or rely on them having "Hide extensions for known file types" checked, which I think is the default. (But since I always uncheck that option, I'm not sure whether it hides them even when you're saving files; if it doesn't, then my whole comment is even more useless.)

But actually, with today's browsers and virus shields, either scenario also relies on them confirming that they want to "run" it.

All of which is only to say "pay attention when downloading," which of course you obviously are already.
Kellykwsapphire on December 7th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
*nod* I am decently good with computers, I've even worked tech support for AOL (don't get me started.. it's not the customers, it's the company) and obviously I'm no expert (I was going for my A+ for a while but I got tired of trying to learn about obsolete hardware and software).. BUT as much as I know about computers, I know nothing about how to make them not work. I can poke them if they're not working and try to get them to work again, but I'm clueless about viruses and so on. The only "programming language" I know is HTML, which obviously isn't a programming language, so the very idea of creating something that can be executed is beyond me. :P Still, I guess I know enough to keep myself out of trouble..
Chrisdeusinnomen on December 6th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
I'm a skeptic still, but it's not like it cost me anything the link, so my part's been done.
Sphynx: iAnubistheatresphynx on December 6th, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
Aye, Very Unlikely post from you.

I clicked. And I'm going to link in my journal too!
Kellykwsapphire on December 6th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you for helping to spread the word. :)
KidMissilekidmissile on December 6th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC)
I'm a skeptic, but thanks for posting this. I'll head over to the library at school and see how many computers I can do this on.
Kellykwsapphire on December 6th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
It's per IP address... I don't know how library computers work, but as long as they all have different IPs that will definitely help. And thank you.
Kellykwsapphire on December 6th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
You don't even have to delete it - I click the link and hit "open" and that counts. Then I just close it without saving.

And thank you for posting this. *hugs*
bitterfun on December 7th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
So did anyone research if this person is actually sick? I hate to be the nay-sayer but if I had a nickel for every internet-suicide, fake pet-death, and other hoax posted I would be a rich rich man. But I don't think the file is harmful. I just think this might be a waste. At any point in time, Megaupload can invalidate her count and her eligibility.

Here's the rules for the Rewards:
Megaupload Rewards

I have heard that I can earn premium status and cash from people downloading my files. Is that true?

Yes, it is! Every qualifying download of one of your files will earn you a reward point. When you have reached a certain number of points, you can redeem them for premium status or even cash. If you have popular content that you have the rights to distribute, this program is for you. If you are trying to earn money by posting files that infringe on the rights of others, forget about it. You will be disqualified.
I have earned a lot of points, what can I do with them?

You can either wait until you have earned even more points, or redeem some for one of our awards:
10000 reward points: One month premium membership
50000 reward points: 6 months premium membership
100000 reward points: One year premium + $100 USD
500000 reward points: Lifetime platinum + $500 USD
1000000 reward points: $1500 USD
5000000 reward points: $10000 USD

What is a qualifying download? How do you count the downloads I earned?

Only one download per IP per day per file will be counted. Downloads from certain countries do not count (click here to see a list of qualifying countries). We reserve the right to exclude downloads from certain IP addresses from counting towards your rewards earnings if we detect fraudulent activitiy.
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on December 7th, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
No, you're absolutely right. This was exactly my attitude when heard about it; as I said, there are so many of these damn scams online. I checked this out myself, and I talked to people that I actually respect and trust, and found myself within one link of the person in question. No way I'd have done a single click of my own without digging.

Yes, it does sound like so many fraudulent things, it's very hard to buy into. It took me a lot of checking before I was willing to, so I don't blame your wonder. Best I can offer is that *I* have checked into it, and found myself satisfied this this one is on the level.

As for the file, I can personally vouch for it being harmless. A 3kb text file, the contents reproduced above. As far as i can tell, there's no way to run a virus off a text file, anyway.
bitterfun on December 7th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
Insert business comment here:

I also have to wonder about the business sense of it? I mean she's up to 1 million hit after 3 month even if she doubles her rate with increased coverage from individual users equating to 1 mil every 1.5 months she'll only get $10,000 after the total of 9 months. You can get a work-from-home job folding envelopes for that pay. And she'll still have to pay taxes on the money.

I see she's also set up the paypal donate button.

God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on December 7th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
All still agreed. Not the best way to handle this, but certainly not the worst, either. *shrug* Eh, i figure, it doesn't take me two seconds a day to do.