Dick Hollman wants to be my BFF

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My name is Dick Hollman. In Oct. 2003  (Sept of 1999  or 1991 is what the older letters say) my car was stolen, and my apartment was broken into. Bill collectors were hounding me like you wouldn’t believe. I was laid off and my unemployment insurance ran out. In the following days I received a letter telling me how I could make over $800,000 any time I wanted to! Of course I was very skeptical, but I was so desperate and had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try. In Jan 2004 my family and I want on a ten-day cruise. In Feb. I bought a new Cadillac with cash. Today I am building a second home in Virginia and I will never have to work again.


Except it totally is. The only thing this lacked was the success and failure stories – lottery winnings for those that do or death for those that don’t, but it did tell me I had to “follow the instructions carefully and exactly“.

The scam money-making opportunity is simple:

  1. Send a dollar to the six people on the list
  2. Move each name up removing name #1 and adding your name at #6
  3. Make 200 copies of this letter (which by the way is five [5] pages long) and purchase a mailing list of 200 names from a mailing list company at $45/pop. The letter conveniently supplies the mailing list company’s url and phone number. Don’t worry, major credit cards are accepted and it ships the next day! Plus – the labels are self-adhesive, and Dick gives helpful instructions  on how to make them work (“You just peel and stick them right on the envelopes!“)
  4. Wait patiently for the list to arrive, all the while imaging the wonderful things you’ll spend your new wealth on.
  5. Mail your letters and wait by the mailbox for your cash to come rolling in in 20 to 90 days! It helps to hold your breath.
  6. Repeat as often as necessary

This letter is filled with percentages and math so you know it’s legitimate and NOT A SCAM.

Except it totally is. I believe the proper term is “ponzi scheme”

It even helpfully cites US Postal laws (Title 18 sections 1302 and 1342), both of which tell you exactly why this is illegal.

In the testimonials, one my favorite lines:

“I have tried many ‘Business Opportunities’ and none panned out. I promised my wife that this was the last thing I would try and if it didn’t work I accept the fact that I would have to work a JOB my whole life and give up on my dream life.”

First I went online to see about other suckers, and sure enough this letter is *still*making the rounds to newsgroups, message boards and home mailing addressed. There seem to be an equal number of detractors and suckers. That people actually post to boards and ask if it’s real and legitimate makes me weep for my future –  who will I get my latte from now?  I suppose what’s really funny (and kinda sad) is that someone thinks $800,000 is a lot of money and can finance a sustainable lifestyle for the rest of someone’s life. I suppose if wisely invested, $800,000 could carry someone for a few years, but knowing what I do about Americans (especially *these* Americans) and their insatiable drive to BUY STUFF, $800,000 would get them through the end of a year, the majority of their cash lost to the wife of a Nigerian Prince who contacted them IN ALL CAPS because she needed the money to get her husband’s tent out of hock or something.

There is actually a bigger idiot out there that has a “breakdown” of his costs;

-The cost for copier paper was a penny for each page, five pages total in each envelope. $0.05.
-The cost for each envelope was the same as what went in them. $0.05.
-I used Avery labels, for my return address, they are the best ones and do not smudge. You may find cheaper ones out there. I used the smallest one possible, 80 per page. The cost for each return mailing label was $0.15.
-The postage required for five pages in a “#10 security envelope” did not exceed the regular postage price of $0.41.
-I did use copiers that I have at my disposal. I did not go to a copy store. I mailed 2000 pieces that totalled 10,000 pages copied. The cost of the cartridge for my printer, which will produce 15,000 copies is $124.00. The cost for this portion, ink, per page, is less than $0.01.
-The cost for my mailing labels, when broken down per piece, totalled $0.06.

Wow, those numbers looks so small – how could you lose? Easy, and I’ll even use a calculator (numbers based on the above total mailing):

  • Copy Paper ($500.00)
  • Envelopes ($100.00)
  • Labels ($300) – here he gets ripped off because you can buy a box of 100 address labels for $6.22 so 2,000 would be $125.00
  • Postage for 2,000 envelopes at $.41/ea ($820.00) – and that was before the postage went up.
  • Copiers/printers/ink ($124.00)

Grand Total: $1,820.00 for this idiot – that’s initial outlay. There really is a sucker born every minute.

For the average sucker, it somes to about $150, which includes two boxes of 100-count envelopes (2.50), copies at Fed-Ex Kinkos ($10.00), list from Data Line One ($45.00), postage, now at $.44 ($88.00), and a few bucks for gas.

I cannot tell you how pissed off I am that this arrived at my house last week, and  I have been chasing around in my mind all of the callous and evil things I could do to the six people who’s names appear on this letter, each expecting a dollar from me and other people who get this and future letters. I am beyond irritated. 

As it’s a scam and illegal and I will be turning this over to my US Postal inspector. The only winner here is Datalineone.com and Dick Hollman is probably an enterprising salesman looking to spur a little growth. I’ll bet he got a raise and everything.


  • Mark Whitacre, Huntington, IN
  • Sean Whitehorn, Tempe, AZ
  • Juile Loflin, Arlington, TN
  • Linda Hellstron, Kincheloe, MI
  • Chris Dunbarm Battle Creek, MI
  • Lisa Jameson, Greenfield, IN

Please enjoy your tens of dollars. I hope you ego surf and find your name on this page.  Thank your gods I didn’t post your address, because seriously I have an evil streak that’s a mile wide. Thanks for letting people like me who work for a living finance your dream of doing nothing.  To be so burdened with the mere thought effort must be crushing to your very souls, and I hope you find enough suckers like yourselves to at least cover the cost of your initial and subsequent mailings.

Anyone else get one of these recently?

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Just this fox. I'm a writer of horror and dark fantasy. I totally don't brag about it. The latter statement is an utter lie.
  • Ryan
    June 29, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    To paraphrase a very famous movie,”My God, it’s full of stupid.”

    I guess there really is one born every minute. I just thought that the most basic math class at the junior high level would give them the skills to at least avoid scams of such an incredibly obvious nature.

    Thanks for making me doubt mankind’s progress, JERK. 😉

  • Veach
    June 29, 2009 - 4:09 pm

    Always the skeptic (me) I wonder: Is it possible that none of these people/addresses are real? That if you followed thru with the ridiculous…that six George Washingtons would disappear into dead letter bins and the only profit would be a company selling 200 names for $45 (the sole goal of this letter)? Just wondering, not that I want to check or anything.

    By the by (a phrase from when this scheme first started being used) this is a pyramid scheme, not a Ponzi. A Ponzi has one grifter who maintains contact with all dupes…keeping them on the hook (like an Insurance Broker); whereas a pyramid has many dupes recruiting more dupes (like Amway or Avon or Mary Kay or Tupperware Parties).

  • little black duck
    June 29, 2009 - 5:05 pm

    Ryan – I get that times are desperate for some, but each and every one of these Work From Home scams that require a serious outlay of initial income to me scream Dope Alert, and yet I can’t help but shake my head at the number of greedy people out there who send their money or turn over their bank accounts.

    How many times do we have to see news stories on Pigeon Drops (and we see them more and more) or read about some poor sa that got taken because he paid some buy $600 for a stereo system he was told was worth $2,500.00, but is really only worth $100?

    Greed begats stupid every time.

    Veach – I get the distinct feeling that there is at leat one of these people are real, as my letter had a hand-lettered return address. When I pull hername up online, she is indeed a real person. At least one person in this thinks it’s real

    And you are right – this would be a pyramid scheme. What would it be like to be the very last person in the world to receive this and have no one to which to send it?

  • Ryan
    June 30, 2009 - 9:47 am

    “Pigeon Drops (and we see them more and more) or read about some poor sa that got taken because he paid some buy $600 for a stereo system he was told was worth $2,500.00, but is really only worth $100?”

    Yeah, this happens every time someone buys a Bose stereo!

But how do you really feel?

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