Well intentioned people are flooding their friends’ in-boxes with offers for free Ericsson laptop computers. The email advises that in order to compete with Nokia, Ericsson is giving away free laptops. According to the email, if you forward it to 8 people you will receive the Ericsson T18. If you forward the email to 20 people, or more, you will receive an Ericsson R320.
The attempt to validate the email hoax is in the line, “There are people within our building who have received their laptops so I thought I would share this information with you in hopes that you get one before they give them all out.”
The Ericsson free laptop email began circulating in February 2007, and appears to still be going strong. It is essentially a variation of an earlier email hoax claiming Ericsson was giving away free phones, in order to compete with Nokia. Neither Nokia, nor Ericsson gives away products for forwarding emails. Additionally, the Ericson R320 and Ericson T18 are Ericsson phones, not computers.
According to Snopes.com the first Ericsson email hoax created so much traffic Ericsson established an account at the bogus email address to auto-respond to inquiries. They have continuously debunked the false claims. Ericsson also posted a press release which stated, the company is not giving away cell phones. They advise they are not involved in the hoax, nor do they advertise via chain emails.
The above statement serves to negate the “Free Ericsson Computer “chain email. According to hoax-slayer.com, any email promising money or free products just for forwarding emails is a hoax. Hoax-slayer.com reminds consumers, “No legitimate company is likely to engage in such a haphazard and uncontrollable method of promoting their products.”
Should you receive this email, simply delete it. Perpetuating emails of this type bog down an already over-loaded system. Another strategy for handling these emails is to respond to “all” and advise them that this email is a hoax. Perhaps you can point your friends to Snopes.com or Hoax-Slayer.com to help them learn how to investigate email rumors for themselves.
Christensen, Brett M. “Ericsson Lap-Top Computer Give Away Hoax” http://www.hoax-slayer.com/ericsson-free-lap-top.shtml
“Ericsson is Giving Away Free Laptops for Forwarding Emails – False” http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/e/ericsson-laptop.htm
“‘Free Phone’ “Email Hoax: A Message from Ericsson about the Free Phone Email Hoax.” http://www.ericsson.com/ca/hoax.shtml
Mikkelson, Barbara and David P., “Free Laptops from Ericsson” http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/ericsson.asp