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Email chancer claims copyright on @

Using @ regularly? Better cough up, then

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Of all the tiresome little email scams which have crawled from the sewer inhabited by charlatans, chancers and out-and-out scumbags, the following - forwarded by reader Richard Panton - must rank among the most audacious.

Step forward "Robert-Alan Lucht", who has been sending out invoices for use of @. That's right, and it's a pretty good deal, too - just ten bucks a year grants you electronic publishing rights for @ "Internet and E-Mail use". Remember, these rights are only conferred on users with a "valid account", so you'd better cough up before the IP Stasi kick in your front door. Full details of how to pay are at the bottom of Lucht's missive:

From: cable_was_wire@freenet.de
To: E-Mail <cable_was_wire@freenet.de>
Subject: Internet and Electronic Mail 2004 license
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 10:05:54 +0200

This is the international copyright holder for at or commercial at: @. You get it by pressing the keys: Alt Gr and Q. This is your 2004 license for Internet and E-Mail online communications. Yearly private use cost you 10 US-Dollar or Euro in licensing fees. Usage and electronic publishing rights for your @ in multiple contexts for Internet and E-Mail use are only granted by transfer with a valid account. With way more than 238 million users: "E-Mail & Internet" are the biggest online services. All rights reserved.

INTERNET - INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
amount: 4 285 199 774 pages online
full uptime: 8760 hours (105120 minutes) [1261440 seconds]
hyper text transfer pages :// world wide web
-------------------------------------
price: 18 EURO (EUR)

E-MAIL: ELECTRIC MAIL LICENSE TILL 2005
more than 238 Million members
FOR @ PLEASE PRESS SIMULTANEOUSLY:
"ALT GR+Q" for PC's
"ALT+SHIFT(Arrow pointing away from You)+1" for Apple's
-------------------------------------
usage records full uptime:
8760 hours (105120 minutes) [1261440 seconds]
1 Euro per month
price: 12 Euro (EUR)

Please note and balance at your bank.
sum 30.00 euro (EUR) ================== * 10 Euro per usage year for private use
* 20 Euro per usage year for educational use
* 1 percent of gains per usage year for professional or institutional use - minimum 30 Euro!

Deutsche Bank International account information IBAN/BIC
IBAN: DE33 2007 0024 0439 5711 00
BIC (SWIFT- CODE): DEUTDEDB241
Account Holder: Robert-Alan Lucht
Fil.: 600 Konto-Nr.: 4395711 BLZ: 20070024

Readers who are not quite clear on how much they owe - and let's face it it's all a bit confusing - are invited to contact Lucht at cable_was_wire@freenet.de. Whoops - that's another €0.01 we owe. Tell you what, let's make it up to a full euro:

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Sorted. Mr Lucht, the cheque's in the post. ®

Bootnote

ALT GR+Q? Wtf is that all about? Is someone pulling our plonker here, we wonder..?

Update

Thanks to all those readers who emailed to point out that - on German keyboards - ALT GR+Q is is the way to get @. Apparently, said keyboards have Ä where we Brits have @. You see, you learn something every day...

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