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Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Partnership Survey Scam

Outline
Message claims that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has partnered with Apple for a promotional event and that the recipient has won a free Apple iPhone and iPad that can be claimed by filling in a website survey.



Brief Analysis
The message is not from Mark Zuckerberg or Apple and the claim that the recipient has won Apple products is a lie. The message is a survey scam that attempts to trick recipients into visiting a bogus "promotions" website that entices them to provide personal information and subscribe to absurdly expensive text messaging services. Participants will never receive the promised Apple products regardless of how many surveys they fill out.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 16th February 2012
First published: 16th February 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
My name is Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook. We have recently partnered up with Apple mackintosh for a one-time promotional event today, we are giving away free Apple iPhones and iPads to randomly selected people who have been fortunate to be selected as one of our latest winners for today. We randomly selected users from our systems database and you have matched with our latest drawing.

We have partnered up with Apple to advertise their most popular product yet, the Apple iPhone and iPad. Once yet again, we are running this campaign for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to check out our web site made for this promotion and fill out the short survey to obtain yours for free. Simply make sure you enter your email so we may locate our records to make certain that we have reserved one for you. That's it!

Congratulations on winning a free Apple iPhone4 and iPad2. If you have any query or concerns, feel free to email me back. However, you need to claim your free iPhone and iPad first to ensure one will be reserved for you before the deadline ends. We do understand that you may well not receive this email until after the deadline, but, we suggest you check out the site and enter your email to see if we still have got yours on hold, which we often-times do because others haven't claimed theirs in time.

Mark Zuckerberg
CEO, Facebook




Detailed Analysis
According to this message, which purports to be from none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, the recipient has won an Apple iPhone and an Apple iPad. The message claims that Zuckerberg has partnered with Apple to create a "one-time promotional event" and the recipient was randomly selected as a winner. Supposedly, all the "winner" need do to collect his or her prize is follow a link in the message and fill in a short survey.

However, the message is certainly not from Mark Zuckerberg or from Apple and the claims that the recipient has won Apple products is a lie designed to trick him or her into clicking a link to a dodgy "promotional" website. Those who are fooled by the message and follow the link to claim their prize will be told that they must participate in a simple survey as part of the claims process. The supposed survey requires the user to supply a mobile phone number as part of the process. But, by providing a phone number the participant is in fact subscribing to a very expensive text messaging service that is billed at several dollars per message sent. And, if the user falls for the ruse and provides the requested phone number, he or she will be presented with even more bogus surveys. No matter how many surveys the user fills out, he or she will never receive the promised Apple products.

Meanwhile, those operating the scam campaign will receive commissions via affiliate marketing schemes each and every time someone completes a survey. While affiliate marketing is a legitimate method of conducting business online, some participants are more than willing to use reprehensible and underhand tactics to increase profits, including the offer of non-existent prizes.

This scam attempt is quite similar in intent to an ongoing series of survey scams that are distributed via Facebook messages. And, an earlier version of the above scam falsely claimed to be from Craig Newmark of Craigslist rather than Mark Zuckerberg.

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References
What is a Facebook Survey Scam? - Survey Scams Explained
Craigslist iPad Giveaway Survey Scam

Last updated: 16th February 2012
First published: 16th February 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer