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Wellness Company Woolies Voucher Hoax

Outline
Email claims that the Wellness Company is giving away 250 Woolworths (South Africa) vouchers to those who forward the email to five ladies.

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© Depositphotos.com/ Mariusz Prusaczyk



Brief Analysis
The message is a hoax that has circulated since at least 2008. Woolworths South Africa has denied any knowledge of the supposed voucher giveaway and deemed the offer as fictional.

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Example

The WELLNESS Comp Milnerton is giving away 250 vouchers to spoil your mom, a friend, your Aunt or yourself during August - the special month to celebrate women. Just forward this email to 5 ladies and CC brenarie@lantic.net and you will get your voucher.

Get ready to be spoiled on the 9th August... write SPOIL in your diary on this day. More information later...

Thank you,
Madeleine [Surname Removed]
The Wellness Company
[Phone Numbers Removed]


Detailed Analysis


According to this oft-forwarded email, the Wellness Company of Milnerton, South Africa is giving away 250 Woolworths vouchers during August. The message claims that all the recipient needs to do to get a voucher is forward the email to five ladies and CC (carbon copy) it to the email address, "brenarie@lantic.net ".

However, the message is a hoax. Nobody will receive the promised vouchers no matter how many times they forward the email.  The message has been falsely offering free vouchers during August since at least 2007.

In June 2010, Woolworths South Africa responded to a query about the hoax on its Facebook Page, noting:

We are sorry to see that you received this. The offer is fictional and thank you for bringing it to our attention.
The hoax message appeared to lose momentum for a time but apparently resurfaced around April 2013. It continues to circulate.

The motivation of the prankster who created the hoax remains unclear. The hoax may have been designed to cause trouble for the person who owned the CC email address or for the person and companies named in the message.

In fact, this message is just one among a host of silly hoax messages that claim that people can receive free vouchers, cash or prizes in exchange for forwarding an email. Any message that claims that a particular company or organization is giving away money, products or services based on how many times an email is forwarded is virtually certain to be a hoax. 

Forwarding this email is utterly pointless and will do nothing more than clutter inboxes with even more useless junk.

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Last updated: July 25, 2013
First published: July 25, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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References
TVSA This 'n That - You got mail
Facebook - Woolworths SA
Giveaway Hoaxes