Message claims that a young hit-and-run victim in South Africa will receive money to help cover medical expenses every time the email is forwarded.
Subject: FW: Please Help Someone Who Will Never Repay You.
Love is the key, forward is the motion, don’t be afraid to love someone.
Hi, my name is Surita Diputs Naidoo and I live in Chatsworth, South Africa. I am 8 years old and I have been in a hit and run accident with a taxi. My 14 year old brother was killed instantly, and my father later died at RK Khan’s Hospital, Chatsworth.
My mother and I are now living with my grandparents.
The doctors have told me that I need corrective surgery as my face and arms were badly burned in the accident.
Fortunately, my plight was brought to the attention of a wealthy Herbal Importer in Reservoir Hills, South Africa, who, with the help of IBM, have promised to give me R2 for every person this e-mail is forwarded to.
Please send to as many people as you can and GOD bless. Remember, have a heart.
This message claims that 8-year-old Surita Diputs Naidoo of Chatsworth, South Africa will be given 2 Rand (around 28 cents) for medical expenses each time the message is sent on. According to the message, Surita was badly injured in a hit and run accident that killed her father and brother and now needs corrective surgery.
Chatsworth is a real place as is the hospital mentioned in the message. However, while Surita may be a real child and such an accident might even have occurred as described, the claim that money will be donated just for forwarding the message is totally untrue. This message is just one in a long line of similar hoaxes that claim a particular organization will donate money based on the number of times a message is forwarded. This version claims that IBM and a “wealthy Herbal Importer” are funding the campaign. Earlier hoaxes have identified AOL, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Red Cross and a host of others as the supposed contributor. All such claims are unfounded.
No company or charitable organization is ever likely to participate in such an absurd scheme. If IBM or the unnamed importer were interested in helping the child, they would do so directly via a monetary donation or perhaps the payment of medical bills. It is simply ridiculous to suggest that they would base the final amount to be donated on how many times the message was forwarded. If a company was willing to donate in the first place, there is no logical reason why it would place such a restriction on the final amount to be contributed. Some have suggested that a company might do this as a form of self-promotion. However, such a callous and self-serving limitation would reflect badly on the company and any publicity gained would be far less than positive. In this case, the “wealthy importer” is not even identified, so he would certainly not gain any benefit from the exercise.
Moreover, even in the exceptionally unlikely event that a company was foolish and inept enough to participate in such an outlandish fund-raising scheme, tracking an email that might be forwarded many thousands of times is neither feasible nor ethical. It would be virtually impossible to keep an accurate record of how much money was to be ultimately donated.
If you receive this, or any other message that claims money will be donated just for forwarding an email, then it is sure to be a hoax. Forwarding such emails helps no one and serves only to clutter inboxes.
Last updated: 4th May 2007
First published: 4th May 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!