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No such thing as a free phone

Some things just baffle me. Like the email I got in from a friend today saying:

*Today FM confirmed this is a legit offer*
Sony Erricsson is giving away phones for free. Sony Erricsson 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 Sony Erricsson j200i) or 20 people (for a free Sony Erricsson 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: ******

For anyone rolling their eyes right now, you’ll know that’s a variant on the time honoured email where Bill Gates gives you cash (I think) for sending emails around. However for those who would believe the above I’ll explain my case on why you should think twice before forwarding it on:

  • Companies just don’t give stuff out for free. Unless it’s a competition prize of course but this just doesn’t happen, in my life anyway.
  • There is no way realistic way for a company to monitor how you’re distributing that email around the Internet.
  • Just because someone sticks an email address in and the endorsement of a radio station doesn’t mean it’s true.

So what’s a person to do when in doubt? Google, people, Google. A two second check for ‘Sony Ericsson free phone’ gave me this: Sony Ericsson Phone Giveaway Hoax. It’s been out there over a year at this stage so please, forward responsibly.

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