Did you receive a text telling you that you were the “winner of the day” and won a nice prize such as a gift card or iPad? Before you make plans to receive this amazing gift, you may want to read a little further.
The message you receive may read something like, “You are Ireland’s winner of the day!” or “You are New Zealand’s winner of the day!” or “You are Henderson’s winner of the day!” They’ll give you a website to visit, which will begin a journey of pond-hopping among different sites until you reach your final destination – a familiar face in the spam wall of shame.
The URL they send may look something like this:
www.bmw.co.nz.phonegiveawayinsanity.info or www.bmw.ie.phonegiveawayinsanity.info.
You are the Henderson winner for July 6th.
Please select a prize and enter your email on the next page to claim.
It also turns out I had been forwarded to onlinetestdirect.com which offered me three choices: a $1000 Walmart Gift card, an iPad 3, or a MacBook Air. Every time I visited this site, it looked different, but the gifts were always the same. There is a timer that counted down, and each item had only a couple of “gifts” remaining. Clicking on the Walmart gift card option, I was then taken to walmart.myrewards2go.com, where I was asked to fill in my email address in order to claim the “prize.”
After entering my (fake) email address, I was taken to yet another page on walmart.myrewards2go.com which asked me to fill out all of my contact information. Clicking the “continue” button instantly agrees to their terms and conditions.
And, as I somehow expected, those terms and conditions reference DailyDealFinder.com.
DailyDealFinder.com is among the most annoying and rampant text message spammers in existence today.
These “rewards” programs require that you sign up for 13 “sponsor offers” such as credit cards or other useless things you don’t want. You also have to drag three friends along and make them sign up for 13 offers. To rub salt in the wound, you also agree that all of them can call, email, or text you with a stream of annoying offers.
I should note that clicking the iPad sent me to ipad.myrewwards2go.com, while clicking the MacBook sent me to claimhotdeals.com. They are all essentially the same “rewards” offers.
These rewards programs have no redeeming value and there is almost no chance you’ll ever receive the gifts being promised.
It’s a sham, scam, and spam.
It should be noted that the intial websites that we visit in this chain are all very recent. This is a way for DailyDealFinder to hide behind temporary, throwaway url’s.
Note: The number we received this “offer” from was 773-801-8380. There will be dozens of others, and the promotion will vary. Let us know if you’ve received a similar text or email and we’ll compile a list of phone numbers and URL’s being used.
Some people have received a text from short code 5151, telling them they’ve won a free iPad. This ends up forwarding to a “myrewards2go.com” page – which as we know is a phony “rewards” program covered here. That same short code has also sent out a text telling people they’ve won $1,000,000 from Microsoft, which of course is not real.
7/7/12 Update: While visiting a website today, I saw almost an identical offer and popup window. The website was ratio.offers-info.net. Be on the lookout for that, too.
7/8/12 Update: A variation of this offer is now floating around telling you that you’re Apple’s Winner of the Day. It’s the same scam, just now using Apple as the carrot by which to lure you in.