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Survey Scam - 'Malfunctioning Online Store Giving Free iPads'

Message distributed on Facebook claims that an online store is malfunctioning because they forgot to include a payment page and customers are therefore receiving free iPads as a result.

iPad Giveaway Scam

Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are lies designed to trick Facebook users into clicking a link. The link leads to a fake Facebook Event page that instructs uses to click another link and participate in various surveys as a prerequisite for getting their free iPad. No matter how many surveys they fill out, users will never receive the promised iPad.

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Guys this online store is malfunctioning. They forgot to insert there payment page. I ordered an Ipad and was never asked to pay!
This is the second time I place an order.

The 1st ipad came in the mail already. Hurry before it's repaired. Go to: [Link removed]

Free iPad Scam

Detailed Analysis
Fake iPAd Giveaway Event Page
This message, which is currently being spammed out to Facebook Walls all over the network, claims that users can get hold of a free iPad by following a link in the post. According to the message, a particular online store has malfunctioned so that those who order an iPad on the site will have it sent to them free of charge. Supposedly, the site “forgot" to include a payment page. Not surprisingly, the claims in the message are utter nonsense.

Those who fall for the ruse and click the link will be taken to a fake webpage designed to look like a real Facebook "Events" Page.  The page come complete with Facebook colour scheme and layout and is salted with a selection of obviously fake comments from equally fake users who claim that they have already received their free iPad.

The "malfunctioning store" claim is not again mentioned.  Instead, the fake site displays the following message:

To participate in our iPad-3 quality test please Click here.

All participants will receive a free iPad-3 after sign up. Participants will be required to submit a final product review after two weeks of optimal product use.

Participant must be 18 years or older.

But, those who do click the link are taken to yet another third party website where they are told they must complete one or more surveys before being eligible for the free iPad sign up. However, no matter how many surveys users complete, they will never get access to the illusive "sign-up" page. 

Of course, the iPad "quality test" mentioned does not exist and users will never receive a free iPad as promised.

Meanwhile, those tricked into participating in the bogus surveys, may have inadvertently subscribed to expensive SMS "services" charged at several dollars per text. Or they may have given their personal and contact details when signing up to dodgy online “offers”. All in the vain hope of getting their free iPad or winning another prize.

The people who set up these scams earn a commission via a dubious affiliate marketing system each and every time someone completes an "offer" or "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 gifts or prizes via Facebook survey scams.

If you see one of these bogus messages, just delete it and do not follow any links that it may contain.

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Last updated: May 10, 2013
First published: March 7, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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