Fact Check

Gemma Brown

Is Gemma Brown collecting spam and chain emails?

Published Jan 14, 2008

Claim:   Gemma Brown is collecting spam and chain e-mails for a university study.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2005]

Sent from Gemma Brown.

I recently received a chain letter (A piece of mail that had been forwarded to me) that had your e-mail address in it along with several other peoples.

I thought that as your mail address was on one of these chain letters (forwards) you may have others that you would be willing to send to me. I know that this might sound like a daft request but I can assure you that this is a serious request. I am involved in a university project that is based over a year and we are analysing Internet mail, we are trying to ascertain trends and patterns to come up with some fairly accurate statistics regarding the type of mail that circulates around the internet, we know that 70% of all mail is spam but what we don’t know is what percentage of that spam accounts for chain mail (forwards of any type, something that has been forwarded to you, a piece of mail that has formed part of a chain).

Please send absolutely anything and everything that remotely resembles chain mail, forwards of any type (even the rude ones). My project is based over a year and I need one million forwards for this project to be a success, so please keep them coming and don’t worry I have some pretty huge mail boxes.

I would be grateful if you would be kind enough to forward this piece of mail to all your friends as I need as much help as I can get.

Please send all chain mail (forwards) to the following address. gemma17@research-project.org

Everyone that helps will receive a copy of our results and findings in January of next year so please help if you can.



Reference No - (3OMOZF5WS17)

You will only receive this mail the once, it will not be sent to you again and your e-mail address will not be passed on, however to conform to the law we must give you the opportunity to have your e-mail removed from our list. Please reply with the word delete to have your address removed.

Origins:   Multiple

versions of this purported "university project" message have been circulating since early 2004, using a variety of different e-mail contact addresses at the research-project.org domain (e.g., gemma3, gemma4, gemma15, gemma17). We've found no evidence that this message is connected to a university research project or any other legitimate purpose, or that such as person as 'Gemma Brown' even exists, however.

The web site www.research-project.org has never displayed anything other than a "This site is currently under construction" notice, and the domain was registered by someone using an e-mail address from Who-Remembers-Me.com, a site that has been the subject of numerous spamming complaints.

Last updated:   1 November 2005

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.