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Free Sainsbury's Gift Voucher Hoax

Summary:
Email claims that Sainsbury's is giving away £60 gift vouchers to those who forward the message to ten friends (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, October 2005)
Dear Sainsbury's Shoppers! !

As part of our marketing exercise we will be giving away £60 gift vouchers. Yes you read it right, Free gift vouchers, no catch.

All you have to do is forward this email on to 10 friends & a copy to [Email Address Removed] simple as that. Once everyone in your list has sent 10 emails you will be emailed your £60 voucher which you can exchange in all Sainsbury's stores.

Thanks for taking part in our exciting new marketing method

Kind Regards, [Contact Details Removed]




Commentary:
Sainsbury's is not giving away £60 gift vouchers to those who forward the above message to ten of their friends.

This silly email message is just one in a long line of hoaxes that claim free gifts, products or services can be redeemed simply by forwarding the message to a specified number of people.

This incarnation claims that Sainsbury's is giving away free £60 gift vouches to recipients who send the message to 10 friends. The claims in the message are untrue and Sainsbury's has denied that they are running any such promotion. To counter the hoax, Sainsbury's published the following information on its website:
We have been made aware of an e-mail which looks like it originates from Sainsbury's offering customers £60 if they forward an e-mail to ten friends. This e-mail does not originate from Sainsbury's, and we are not running such a promotion. We are currently following this matter up with those responsible for the original e-mails.
It is highly unlikely that any legitimate company would base a promotional campaign on the haphazard forwarding of an email message. Many companies give away vouches or products from time to time as part of a marketing strategy. However, such giveaways are strictly controlled and are certainly not contingent upon how many copies of an email are sent. Any email message that claims the recipient can get something free in exchange for forwarding the message is almost certainly a hoax.

If you receive this Sainsbury's voucher hoax, please do not forward it to others. Email hoaxes like this one do nothing more then waste bandwidth and clutter inboxes.

Update: December 2006
This old hoax appears to have been given given new life after a genuine Sainsbury’s voucher offer got out of control. Information on the Sainsbury's website notes:
We are aware that some people have been affected by unauthorised e-mail and website publishing several discount voucher codes. I would like to explain the background to this situation and why we have taken the decisions that we have.

In recent weeks, we have sent individual vouchers through the post to many of our regular customers who are registered with our Nectar loyalty programme. These vouchers offer money off at Sainsbury’s, subject to the individual customer spending a specified amount. The terms and conditions on the reverse of each e-mail state that the voucher cannot be used with any other offer and that it is not transferable.

A number of websites and e-mail "chain letters" then, without our knowledge or consent, published some of the 12 digit codes on these vouchers, despite the fact that they were for the use of named individuals. They also omitted to publish the terms and conditions and in some cases actively encouraged people to contravene the terms and conditions by using more than one voucher. (Read full article)
References:
Sainsbury's FAQ Page: Spam /Junk Mail
Webuser Article: Free Sainsbury's vouchers email hoax
Online e-voucher FAQs

Last updated: 18th December 2006
First published: October 2005

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen