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Nokia Giveaway Hoax

Email claims that Nokia is give away a free phone to those who forward the email (Full commentary below).


Example:(Received vie email, 2003)
Hi Everyone,

Nokia Is Giving Away Phones For "FREE"!!

Nokia is trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its products.And the reward you receive for advertising for them is a phone free of cost! To receive your free phone all you need to do is send this email out to 8 people (for a free Nokia 6210) or to 20 people (for a free Nokia WAP).Within 2 weeks you will receive a free phone. (They contact you via your email address).

You must send a copy to

Noika is NOT giving away a new mobile phone in exchange for forwarding emails.

It is highly improbable that any legitimate company would employ such a haphazard promotional method as the uncontrolled forwarding of emails. Also, consider how many times an email like this might be forwarded in a two-week period. If the claim were true, Nokia might have found that they were obligated to give away thousands of phones.

Nokia has the following disclaimer on its website:

Nokia is aware of the prank e-mail circulating around the world. The content of the e-mail is not true. Nokia does not hand out free mobile phones. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers.

The hoax has spawned other giveaway hoaxes, including one that pretends to be a counter-offer from Nokia rival, Ericsson. The Ericsson version is reproduced below. It's interesting to note that "Anna Swelund" is the person to contact in both the Nokia giveaway hoax and the Ericsson version. Perhaps, Anna is moonlighting? :)

Dear customer 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. They are specially developed for Internet happy customers who value cutting edge technology. By giving free phones away, we get valuable customer feedback and a great 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 new Ericsson R320 WAP-phone. Just remember to send a copy to - that is the only way we can see, that you forwarded the message.

Best of luck

Anna Swelund
Executive Promotion Manager for Ericsson Marketing

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen