Almost daily, I get random Tweets sent my way with nothing more than a shortened link and no explanation. I typically just ignore them, but today I decided to see where this mysterious link went. I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found myself on a page promising me a “free” iPad.
The led me to the website ipad2free4u.com, which was created on August 10, 2011. In short, this is nothing more than another “rewards program” that is nearly impossible to complete. These rewards programs are nothing more than a modern bait-and-switch, making big promises early on, only to heap massive requirements onto this “free” prize. Let’s delve a little deeper.
The page itself states the following (I’ve added notes in red)
You have just qualified to receive a free Apple iPad 3! The domain say it’s an iPad2.
Every Thursday morning we randomly select 25 visitors around the United States. You have been selected as a promising product tester based on your recent website history. I was sent a link on Twitter – how does that related to my “website history?” And the person sending the tweet sent the link to far more than 25 people.
To participate in this product quality test please Enter your email address below:
At the bottom there is a timer in yellow, and text that reads:
Please respond within XX min and XX sec. If the electronic is not claimed within the time displayed we will be forced to give away your spot to another visitor in London. London? I think they messed up their country tracking there, as the top of the website says it’s the United States!
It should also be noted that when I re-visited this website, I had a fresh timer again. Obviously this is a fake sense of urgency, not unlike those flimsy claims to “Call within the next 15 minutes” used by TV commercials for years.
After entering a fake email address, I was sent to another website, sigma.gadgets-tech.net. As stated, this is nothing more than a “rewards program” which rarely rewards anyone. They require to you to sign up for 13 “offers” which can not only be expensive, but also gives them permission to relentlessly call, text, or email you with other offers… along with whoever they wish to sell your information to as well.
Further, if you read the terms, they reserve the right to substitute a gift card for whatever value they want. And if your gift is broken – it’s on you to fix it.
Take a look at some of their more eyebrow-raising terms, copied verbatim from their rules page:
- There is no way to cancel an account. If you no longer wish to remain a part of this website, you should refrain from accessing your account.
- Except where prohibited by law, participation in this website constitutes your consent to our use of your name, likeness, voice, opinions, city, and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further approval, payment or consideration.
- Make sure that your browser settings are set to accept all cookies.
- In order to receive credit for loan offers, you must close and fund the loan.
- Company reserves the right to substitute a gift card for the reward. The amount of the gift card and the merchant shall be determined by Company in its sole discretion.
- Company reserves the right to substitute a product of comparable value for the reward. “Comparable value” shall be determined by Company in its sole discretion.
- Additionally, Company reserves its right to pursue legal action against you.
- If a product is found to be defective, you should consult the warranty information included with the reward, if applicable. We are not responsible for the repair or replacement of damaged or defective products.
These “rewards programs” are absolutely rampant lately. They’re being promoted with “free gifts” that aren’t really free. Take a look at the list below – these are but a few of these “free” offers that end up being a scam. Notice how they vary from concert tickets to gift cards to iPads, but all end up being the same “participation required” offer.
- The One Direction Free Ticket Giveaway Scam
- Scam Alert: Text Messages From 43554
- The “Winner of the Day” Free Gift Scam
- The Free iPad Text Scam
- Target Scam Gift Card Text Message
- Target, Disney Hoaxes Making Rounds on Facebook Again
- Best Buy Gift Card Scam Text Message
- The iPhone5 Tester Scam on Facebook
Filed under: Scams & Deception