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Sony Ericsson Phone Giveaway Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Email claims that Sony Ericsson is giving away free phones to recipients who send the message on to 8 or 20 people (Full commentary below.)


Dear All,

Knowing how our young are always on the lookout for an upgrade to the latest phones why not pass on to all your friends and relatives the following mail from Sony Erricsson:-

SonyErricsson is giving away phones for free. SonyErricsson is Trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its product and the reward You receive for advertising for them is a free phone free of cost.

To receive your free phone all you have to do is to send this email Out to 8 people (for a free SonyErricsson j200i) or 20 people (for a Free SonyErricsson k400i WAP).

Within 2 weeks you will receive a free phone. (They will contact you through your e-mail address). Please mark a copy to: – anna.swelam@sonyerricsson.com

Detailed Analysis:
The email message included above is a hoax.

Sony Ericsson will not give the recipient of this email message a free phone even if he or she does send it to 8 or more people. Those who send an email to the contact address included in the email will receive the following automated message from Sony Ericsson:

Dear sender,

This message / promotion is not a genuine Sony Ericsson promotion. We suspect that the people behind this hoax virus/email campaign hope to obtain and misuse the personal data of those who participate.

Please do not forward this promotion on.

Kind regards

Press Office

Sony Ericsson

Versions of this aging email hoax have been circulating for several years. The original incarnation targeted Nokia rather than Ericsson, but the content of the message was very similar to the example shown above.

After the Nokia hoax began circulating, someone launched the first Ericsson version (shown below) that claimed Ericsson wanted to “counter” Nokia’s offer by giving away free Ericsson phones.

Interestingly, both the Nokia and Ericsson adaptations of the hoax claim to be endorsed by one “Anna Swelund”, or variations such as “Anna Swelam” and Anna Swelan”.

As stated, there are several mutations of this hoax, all of them equally false. It would be highly unlikely that Ericsson, Nokia, or any other reputable company, would launch a promotional campaign based on how many times a particular message was sent onward. If you receive one of these email hoaxes, please inform the sender that the message is untrue and do not send it to others.

Nokia Giveaway Hoax
Ericsson Free Phone Hoax

An earlier Ericsson vesriosn:

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 Anna.Swelund@ericsson.com – that is the only way we can see, that you forwarded the message.

Best of luck

Anna Swelund
Executive Promotion Manager for Ericsson Marketing

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,