FACT CHECK: Sony Ericsson Laptop Giveaway

Can users can receive free laptop computers from Ericsson for forwarding an e-mail message to friends?

Eis: Consumers can receive free laptop computers from Ericsson (or Dell) for forwarding an e-mail message to eight friends.

Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2007]

The Ericsson Company is distributing free laptop Lap-tops te an attempt to match Nokia that has already done so. Ericsson hopes to increase its popularity this way. For this reason, they are providing away the fresh WAP laptops. All you need to do to qualify is to send this mail to 8 people you know. Within Two weeks, you will receive EricssonT18. But if you can send it to 20 people or more, you will receive Ericsson R320. Make sure to send a copy to : [email protected]

Variations: A version that began circulating te May 2009 states: “According to Snopes this shows up to be a legit suggest.” Which is false &mdash, this is not a legitimate suggest. Likewise, the October 2009 versions that assert: “I have checked this on Snopes and it is true” and “I DID check Snopes – it IS legit … They’re attempting to match a latest overeenkomst by Nokia!” are also lies.

Origins: The above-quoted jape is yet another version of a long-running Internet hoax that has bot circulating te one form or another since 1997. The names of the companies involved and the supposed prizes to be had periodically switch, but the basic come-on remains the same: idiot gullible netizens into endlessly forwarding junk messages to their friends and acquaintances with phony promises of metselspecie and free merchandise.

Way back ter April 2000, after an iteration of this hoax stated that Nokia wasgoed providing away free cell phones, a fresh version wasgoed set liberate claiming that Ericsson wasgoed attempting to one-up its competitor with a similar suggest:

Our main competitor, Nokia, is providing free mobile phones away on the Internet. Here at Ericsson wij want to toonbank their offerande. So wij are providing our newest WAP-phones away spil well. They are especially developed for Internet glad customers who value cutting edge technology. By providing free phones away, wij get valuable customer terugkoppeling and a good Word-of-Mouth effect.

All you have to do, is to forward this message to 8 friends. After two weeks delivery time, you will receive a Ericsson T18. If you forward it to 20 friends, you will receive the brand fresh Ericsson R320 WAP-phone. Just recall to send a copy to [email protected] that is the only way wij can see, that you forwarded the message.

Executive Promotion Manager for Ericsson Marketing

Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved. Reproduction, transfer, distribution or storage of part or all of the contents ter any form without the prior written permission of Ericsson is prohibited except te accordance with the following terms. Ericsson consents to you browsing Ericsson World Broad Web pages on you rekentuig or WAP-phone and printing copies of thesis pages for private use only.

But of course, Ericsson made no such offerande, the e-mail address provided wasgoed bogus, and the company employed no one by the name of “Anna Swelund.” Ericsson

wasgoed kasstuk so hard by inquiries about this hoax that they set up an auto-response for mail to the [email protected] e-mail address (the auto-reply message stated that there wasgoed no such account, there wasgoed no “free phone” suggest, and there wasgoed no Anna Swelund working for the company) and inserted a denial of the rumor into their web webpagina FAQ.

Five years straks, te May 2005, the Ericsson version wasgoed dusted off, updated to include an offerande for free laptops (even however the referenced Ericsson T18 is a cell phone, not a laptop), and sent winging around the Internet to loser a entire fresh crop of gullible recipients. Ter February 2007, it once again wasgoed set liberate on inboxes everywhere:

The Ericsson Company is distributing free pc Lap-tops te an attempt to match Nokia that has already done so. Ericsson hopes to increase its popularity this way. For this reason, they are providing away the fresh WAP laptops. All you need to do to qualify is to send this mail to 8 people you know. Within Two weeks, you will receive EricssonT18. But if you can send it to 20 people or more, you will receive Ericsson R320. Make sure to send a copy to: [email protected]

Ter May 2007 the hoax wasgoed reworked slightly to reposition it spil a giveaway to benefit children:

Free LAPTOP FOR KID’S

Thought you might be interested ter a free rekentuig for your child. The Ericsson Company is distributing free pc lap-tops ter an attempt to match Nokia that has already done so. Ericsson hopes to increase its popularity this way. For this reason, they are providing away the fresh WAPLaptops.

All you need to qualify is to send this mail to 8 people you know. Within Two weeks, you will receive Ericsson T18. But if you can send it to 20 people or more, you will receive Ericsson R320. There are people within our building who have received their laptops so I thought I would share this informatie with you ter hopes that you get one before they give them all out!

Make sure to send a copy (cc) to: [email protected]

Te May 2009, this hoax wasgoed waterput into graphic form:

The resurgence of this hoax ter May 2009 prompted Sony Ericcson to kwestie yet another disclaimer:

Sony Ericsson has bot made aware of an online email campaign claiming that Ericsson will give away a free laptop rekentuig to users who forward the promotional information. The same campaign includes a photograph of the Sony Ericsson logo and mentions an Ericsson voeling name and email number.

Sony Ericsson confirms that this email campaign is a hoax. Te addition, Sony Ericsson confirms that the Ericsson voeling name does not exist.

All competitions and promotions involving Sony Ericsson are run through official channels such spil Sony Ericsson’s webstek or Sony Ericsson’s fucking partners’ websites. Please be wary of any competition or promotion that emerges to come from outside of Sony Ericsson or Sony Ericsson’s playmates official channels. Examples of thesis include via spam emails or SMS.

Please do not reply to or forward the email if you receive it.

A similar graphic version from June 2009 claimed free Dell Inspiron Mini 9 or Dell Precision M6400 notebook computers could be obtained free by forwarding e-mail messages to friends:

The bottom line is that no matter which incarnation of this silliness one receives, the principle is the same: There’s still no free lunch, and big companies aren’t going to arm out fabulous vacations, $1,000 bills, free elegant clothes, fresh computers, cases of candies, wads of specie, or fresh cars just because someone with a functioning Internet connection does them the favor of forwarding an e-mail. Tho’ at very first redden, participating ter such pie-in-the-sky wishfulness shows up ideally harmless, such participation only serves to clog up already overtaxed resources. Oh yes, it does one other thing: it gives the pranksters who cooked up thesis frauds a excellent big laugh at others’ expense.

Last updated: Nineteen October 2009

Sources:

Abdullah, Halimah. “Abercrombie & Fitch.”

The Dallas Morning News. 24 February 1999 (p. E6).

Brenner, Jo-El Glenn. “The Universe of Expeditie Inc.”

The Toronto Starlet. Ten May 1992 (p. H1).

Crabb, Don. “Bill Gates: An Urban Legend te His Own Time.”

Chicago Sun-Times. 15 February 1998 (p. 50).

Gotting, Peter. “Gullibility Goes Mobile spil the Latest E-Mail Hoax Hits the Nipt.”

Sydney Morning Herald. 14 April 2000.

Reuters. “Coke: Chain Letterteken Claims Are False.”

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