Free £60 Sainsbury's voucher hoax email
It looks like the hoax email promising people £60 worth of vouchers for Sainsbury's supermarket stores is doing the rounds agian in the run-up to Christmas. The email asks you to forward it to at least ten people, and copy in a J Sainsbury's address, and then apparently the company will contact you with the free voucher.
It is interesting what moves people to pass this on. Leave aside for a moment all the DPA issues there would be for a company encouraging mass spamming like this, giving away £60 just doesn't make sense as a viral promotion. Offering incentives to use a service for the first time, or discounting good to encourage further sales are both ideal aims of viral marketing, but not simply a cash giveaway.
Just as odd, the address that people are asked to copy their version of the e-chain letter to isn't even a Sainsbury's address. Instead, the web page at the address people are directed to mail to is a one-pager carrying sponsered search results. They are at least, it seems, bouncing the mail, rather than harvesting the addresses sent to them.
Snopes has the low-down on it of course - it seems to have appeared in October last year, where they associate the Sainsbury's version as a mutation of a hoax email sent in the name of Bill Gates over nine years ago.
I wonder if it has been pinging around all year, or whether the seasonal re-appearance is related to the recent story about the 40% off Thresher's voucher offer that 'apparently' got out of hand.