Vodafone is warning customers that a chain mail spreading via its text messaging service is a hoax.
In line with those that have propagated by snail mail and email in the past, the chain mail promises benefits to those who send it on - in this case, six months' free text messaging for anyone who forwards the message to eight friends.
There appears to have been something of a surge in such messages in recent weeks.
Vodafone New Zealand customer operations director, Michael Alston, says the company wants to "prevent customers from spending money on meaningless text messages. Texting is enormously popular and all Vodafone customers are able to make use of it - the last thing we want is customers getting disillusioned with the service.
"Vodafone did not originate this, or any other chain mail text message, and wouldn't consider doing so."