Family Fraud Alert: Email Freebie Hoax

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

April 13, 2007

The internet is a great place to get information and keep in touch. But, as you should know, it's also a place full of hoaxes and fraud.

That can include emails making too-good-to-be-true promises, so you'll want to be careful of what you click.

A lot of us have gotten emails promising to deliver a free laptop or cell phone if you just send the message to eight or ten other people.

It seems too easy...and it probably is.

Jennifer Adams tries to positively influence her students every day she sees them.

As a third grade teacher at ME Freeman School in Warren County, she teaches spelling, math and important lessons...like the fact that nothing comes for free. "We do talk about how you have to work for what you get."

It's a lesson she had to use herself recently. She got an email supposedly from telecommunications company Ericsson with a great promise: forward this to eight people and get a free laptop.

"Then we got another and another."

It seemed as though the company really wanted to give her a laptop. And she wasn't the only one.

"They pretty much went around the whole school."

Could it be true? Everyone at ME Freeman could win a free laptop just by clicking a mouse a few times? Jennifer was suspicious.

"So finally I copied and pasted it to Ericsson, and they emailed me back saying no one by that name worked there."

It was all a big hoax. The company told her the names and the information in the letter were fake. At this point, the company says it's just a chain letter and nothing more.

But as with any emails sent to you from someone you don't know, be careful, because they could be more trouble than they're worth.

As for Jennifer, this is just another lesson to share with her students.

"Nothing in life is that easy," she said. "It's never as easy as click here and this happens."

Other emails claim you can win free trips, cash and PlayStations by forwarding them.

They're all bogus. It's just not possible to trace all the recipients of an email.


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