I received a notification from Coca‑Cola that I have won a sweepstake or a cash prize. Is this legitimate?
The Coca‑Cola Company has learned of several text messages, emails and letters being sent to people that falsely claim the recipient has either won a sweepstake or a cash prize from our Company.
The text messages direct the recipients to a website that appears to be, but is not, an official site of The Coca‑Cola Company.
Subject lines for the emails have ranged from "You Have Won $1 million In The Coca‑Cola™ 128th Anniversary Promo" to "The Coca‑Cola Award Notification" to "The Coca‑Cola Promo Winning Notification" to "The Coca‑Cola Worldwide Christmas Promo," "Notification for Coca‑Cola Foundation Cash Aid," or other similar titles.
Some versions of the text/email hoax indicate a joint promotion with the British American Tobacco Company, an annual mid-year Coca‑Cola promotional draw (which includes the name of former Coca‑Cola executive vice president, Carl Ware), or a car giveaway in Hong Kong.
The messages also include formal language that makes them look "official," and are sometimes designed to look legitimate by including images or photographs, a "secret pin code" or reference/ticket number and contact information for a Coca‑Cola representative.