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Sony PSP Giveaway Hoax Email

Summary:
Email forward claims that Sony will give away a PSP console to those who send the message to 20 other people (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, October 2005)
Dear all

Sony is giving away PSP consoles "FREE"!! Sony is trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its products. And the reward you receive for advertising for them is a PSP free of cost!

To receive your free PSP all you need to do is send this email out to 20 people for a PSP value pack (see attached picture).

Within 2 weeks you will receive a free PSP!

(They contact you via your email address).

**IMPORTANT You must send a copy to pspgiveaway@sonyworld.com

Kind Regards,
Faheem Mohommed
Sony Head of Marketing
Office Hours: Mon - Fri 08:15 - 16:45
Fri 08:15 - 16:30
Telephone Number: [Removed]
Fax Number: [Removed]

PSP Value Pack





Commentary:
The claim made in this email forward is false. Sony will not give you a PSP console just for sending an email message to 20 people. Sony South Africa has published information on its website debunking the hoax as quoted below:

Sony South Africa: Urgent Notice - Hoax e-mail PSP GIVEAWAY!!!

It has recently been brought to Sony South Africa's attention that a hoax e-mail is being circulated offering a free PSP. Although Sony playstation is distributed by Ster Kinekor in South Africa, Sony South Africa would like to alert all customers of this hoax.
Furthermore, the contact email address included in the message seems to be invalid. Mail sent to the address generates a bounce message that warns that there is no such mailbox.

The message is just one more in a long line of email hoaxes that promise free products, services, vouchers or cash in exchange for forwarding the message. Virtually all such messages are bogus. It is very unlikely that any legitimate company would base a promotional giveaway on how many times an email message was sent to others. While companies do often give away products or services as part of promotional campaigns, such giveaways are conducted under controlled conditions. A giveaway based on how many times an email was forwarded could very quickly spiral out of control. Such messages can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of recipients in a comparatively short amount of time. The email does not contain any time limit or legal restrictions for the supposed giveaway. If the message was true, Sony could find that they were obligated to give away many thousands of PSP consoles and the company could suffer serious financial losses as a result. There is exceptionally little chance that any genuine company would put itself in such a financially vulnerable position.

The phrasing of this hoax message is reminiscent of the long running Nokia Giveaway Hoax and its variants.

These foolish hoax messages waste bandwidth and clutter inboxes around the world. If you receive such a hoax message, please do not forward it to others.

References:
Urgent Notice - Hoax e-mail PSP GIVEAWAY!!!
iafrica.com: PSP giveaway e-mail a hoax

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen