Giveaway hoax email
An email arrives in your inbox claiming that a major electronics manufacturer is trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its products.
It will give you a free portable games console if you forward the email on to 20 friends, the email states.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
This is a hoax email. There are various versions of this email offering electronic goods, crates of champagne, gift vouches and even cash.
It is very unlikely that any legitimate company would base a promotional giveaway on how many times an email message was sent to others.
Many companies do give away products or services as part of promotional campaigns but it is always conducted under controlled conditions.
An email campaign like this could reach hundreds of thousands of recipients in a very short period of time.
So what is in it for the scammers? Is this just a “fishing exercise” to capture email details of as many consumers as possible? Or is it designed to cause problems for companies, and waste bandwidth and clutter inboxes of consumers around the world?
In 2003, Nokia was forced to post a warning on its website after its name was used in one of these hoax emails. Sony is the latest victim with Sony South Africa posting a warning on its website.
If you receive such a hoax message, do your friends a favour and forward it to WA ScamNet. Do not send it to your friends!
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