Summary: Message claims that Ericsson will give away a free laptop computer to those who send the message to 8 or more people (Full commentary below).
Update: May 2009 A new, graphical version of the hoax began circulating (See commentary belwo for details).
Example:(Submitted March 2007)
Subject: Free Lap-Top
The Ericsson Company is distributing free computer lap-tops in an
attempt to match Nokia that has already done so. Ericsson hopes to
increase its popularity this way. For this reason, they are giving away
the new WAP Laptops. All you need to qualify is to send this mail to 8
people you know. Within 2 weeks, you will receive Ericcson T18. But if
you can send it to 20 people or more, you will receive Ericsson R320.
Make sure to send a copy to: email@example.com
This email would have us believe that telecommunications equipment supplier Ericsson will give a free laptop computer to those who forward the message to 8 or 20 people. However, this claim is complete nonsense. The message is simply a rehashed version of an older hoax that claimed Erricsson was passing out free mobile phones for forwarding emails.
As hoaxes go, this one is even more absurd than usual. The free products specified in the message are actually mobile phones not computers. Moreover, both the Ericsson T18 and the Ericsson R320 are older models that have now been discontinued. The following text from a previous Ericsson phone hoax suggests that some prankster has attempted to give new life to an old hoax by making some minor changes and substituting "free computer lap-tops" for "free mobile phones".
Our main competitor, Nokia, is giving free mobile phones away on the Internet. Here at Ericsson we want to counter their offer. So we are giving our newest WAP-phones away as well.
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 new Ericsson R320 WAP-phone. Just remember to send a copy to Anna.Swelund@ericsson.com - that is the only way we can see, that you forwarded the message.
Ericsson is not giving away free phones. The chain mail you have received is a fraud and there is no person with the name of Anna Swelund working at Ericsson. At Ericsson, we are constantly looking at new innovative ways to market ourselves, chain e-mails are not one of them. We kindly ask you not to forward the chain mail further.
Similar messages claim that Nokia is the company giving away free phones for forwarding emails. This claim is also totally false.
In fact, any message that claims you can receive free products or money just for forwarding an email is sure to be a hoax. No legitimate company is likely to engage in such a haphazard and uncontrollable method of promoting their products.
In May 2009, the following graphical version of the hoax began circulating:
In response to the hoax, Sony Erricsson published the following statement on its website:
Hoax Competition Email
12 May 2009
Sony Ericsson has been made aware of an online email campaign claiming that Ericsson will give away a free laptop computer to users who forward the promotional information. The same campaign includes a photograph of the Sony Ericsson logo and mentions an Ericsson contact name and email number.
Sony Ericsson confirms that this email campaign is a hoax. In addition, Sony Ericsson confirms that the Ericsson contact name does not exist.
All competitions and promotions involving Sony Ericsson are run through official channels such as Sony Ericsson's website or Sony Ericsson's partners' websites. Please be wary of any competition or promotion that appears to come from outside of Sony Ericsson or Sony Ericsson's partners official channels. Examples of these include via spam emails or SMS.
Please do not reply to or forward the email if you receive it.