Are Chain Letters Illegal?

Chain letters are types of email which encourage you to send them onto people that you know. They try to convince the reader to make copies of the letter and then give it to everyone that they know. The way that they encourage this is to offer something in return like good luck or money.

Chain Letter

Chain letters are very common and are one of the most normal things that you will receive in your mailbox. These chain letters are very irritating and can also leave you open to scams and all sorts of other issues.

Direct Mail

Chain letters aren't just a problem on the internet but are also a major problem with direct mail. These direct mail chain letters are often just pyramid schemes which are sent out to people interested in business opportunities.

These pyramid schemes work by asking people to send money onto people at the top of the list in the hope of receiving more money in return. Of course, these types of chain letters have been illegal for some time, as have pyramid schemes.

Email Scams

There are also a lot of email chain letters which are doing the rounds at the moment. If you have your own email account then you have probably already seen loads of these chain letters. In fact, they are also very common on social networking sites. Chain letters are just another type of unsolicited spam email message.

There are a few different types of these chain letters; some of them appear to be harmless. Others, however, request a financial investment in the form of a PayPal payment and work exactly the same as other pyramid schemes. These paypal scams will surely lose you money.

If you ever receive a chain letter then it's important that you don't open it and certainly don't pass it on. Passing it on will make you part of the scam.


Most chain letters are very clever and will try to convince you that what they are doing is legal. They do this by telling you that giving money is legal because of a certain postal code. They might also say that you are buying a space on a mailing list which means it is not a pyramid scheme. However, these are all lies. Chain letters which request money are always illegal because these are pyramid schemes.

If anyone has tried chain letters in the past then they will probably realize that they weren't really that successful. There are some people that managed to make thousands of dollars from chain letters in the 50's and 60's. While Chain letters used to work, today they are much less successful and rarely make anyone any money. If you were an early entrant then there is a possibility that you made money, but in most cases people would lose out once the pyramid collapses. The reason that chain letters aren't as successful these days is because the practice of sending chain letters is outdated. Few people will fall for these chain letters because they can search about them on the internet.

Chain letters are always a scam and should be avoided at all costs. The way that they work is just too simple for anyone to make enough money to justify sending the messages.

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