Friday 13 March 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I received a text message which said the following:

“You have been NORMINATED for the SONY ERICSSON PROMO 2009 with ref. No. SE1076. Email your NAME & PHONE NUMBER to: & call +447035918758”

Do you think this is for real? Do you think I should respond to it or call them?

Certainly not. This is a scam. Look at the message again carefully and you can see the clues.

Firstly there’s a spelling mistake: “Norminated”. Almost always these messages are written by someone whose first language is not English and you very often see simple spelling mistakes as a result.

Then there’s the email address you are asked to contact. Whenever you see an email address like that and you are slightly suspicious it’s worth doing a quick check to see if there’s a web site with the same domain. The domain is the bit after the @. In this case you should try to visit If you try this you’ll see that it doesn’t exist. There’s your next clue that it’s a scam.

You can also do some research you can also find that the number given is suspicious. British phone numbers (the +44 tells you that it a UK number) that start with +4470 are notorious for being used by scammers.

If do a Google search for the phrase “Sony Ericsson Promo 2009” (remember to put it in quotes so Google searches for EXACTLY that phrase) you can also get some clues that this is an attempt to part you from your money. Google can’t find a single reference to this phrase. It finds various other combinations of the words but the exact phrase scores no hits at all. Wouldn’t that be a bit surprising if a company as big as Sony Ericsson was running such a promotion?

And another thing. Why don’t they mention your name? If YOU have been selected, why don’t they know your name?

OK, finally we get to the biggest clue that it’s a scam.


Do you really think a total stranger is going to SMS you saying you stand a chance of winning something? Do you really think that a company like Sony Ericsson is going to give things away like this? Of course they’re not. It’s never going to happen, never, never, never.

So, in short, don’t EVER believe anything like this. Every time it happens it’s a scam, it’s as simple as that. Don’t waste your money or time contacting them. They’ll tempt you with some story of a lottery win, a car or something marvellous. However, ALL of them will inevitably involve an “advance fee”. It might be legal fees or an import duty, it doesn’t matter what, it will be money you have to pay before you get the prize. That’s the prize that doesn’t exist anyway.

I suggest that you delete this SMS and pretend you never received it.

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