Claim: Promotional event partnering Apple with Gmail, Craigslist or Facebook awards free iPads or iPhones to those who fill out a survey.
[Collected via e-mail, February 2012 ]
My name is Mark Zuckerberg, Ceo of Facebook. We have recently joined up with Apple mackintosh regarding a one-time promotional event today, we are giving away complimentary Apple iPhones and iPads to randomly selected folks who have been fortunate to be chosen as one of our newest 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 inc to advertise their hottest product yet, the Apple iPhone and iPad. Once yet again, we are operating this promotion for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE [URL elided] to go to our website made for this promotion and fill out this short survey to recieve yours for free. Just make sure you enter your email so we may locate our records to ensure that we have reserved one for you. That is it!
Congrats on winning a free Apple iPhone4 and iPad2. If you have any question or concerns, feel free to e-mail me back. However, you need to claim your free iPhone and iPad 1st to ensure one will be reserved for you before the deadline ends. We do understand that you may not receive this e-mail until after the deadline, however, we advise you check the website and enter your email to see if we still have got yours on hold, which we often-times do because others have not claimed theirs in time.
[Collected via e-mail, November 2012]
The biggest Apple Christmas giveaway ever! All that you need to do is complete the 3 easy steps below to participate!
Step 1) Like this photo.
Step 2) Like us on Facebook. [URL elided]
Step 3) Share this photo
Winners will be selected on Christmas, 25th of December, 2012. There will be x70 iPhone 5 & x20 iPhone 4S winners!
Good Luck to everyone!
Note: All steps must be completed and will be manually checked before we send out the iPhone's!
Origins: The "free iPad/iPod/iPhone" hoax has been rampant on the Internet for a few years, with the October 2011 death of Apple founder Steve Jobs inspiring scam artists to loose it upon the unsuspecting yet again.
In December 2010, it appeared in the form displayed as the first entry in the Example section above which claimed there were free Apple iPhones and iPads to be had as a result of a marketing partnership between Facebook and Apple. The wording of the fraud was taken from a November 2010 scam which asserted Craigslist was the business entity that had teamed up with Apple to dole out free iPads:
My name is John Lynderson, Ceo of Craigslist. We have recently partnered up with Apple mackintosh for a one-time promotional event today, we are giving away no cost Apple iPads to randomly selected people who have posted an ad on Cl. You have been chosen as one of our most recent winners for today. We randomly select numbers to match up with ads on Craigslist and your advertisement matched with our latest drawing.
We have partnered up with Apple inc to advertise their hottest product yet, the Apple iPad. Once yet again, we are running this promotion for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE [URL elided] to go to our site made for this promotion and type in your email to get yours for free. Simply make sure you enter your email so we may locate our records to ensure that we have reserved one for you. That is it!
Congratulations on winning a free Apple iPad (valued at $800). In case you have any query or concerns, feel free to email me back. However, you need to claim your free 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, however, we advise you check out the website and enter your email to see if we still have yours on hold, which we often-times do because others haven't claimed theirs in time.
CEO, Craig's list
The December 2010 "Facebook and Apple" versions were signed by an ever-changing list of fictitious names purporting to be the CEO of Facebook. In January 2012, the scam was fine tuned with the permanent inclusion of the name of the actual CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.
In September 2012, the "free iPad" con reappeared, that time naming Gmail as the business entity hosting the giveaway. In that version of the con, those about to be scammed were directed to a site titled "MyGmailRewards.com" and asked to enter their e-mail addresses into their browsers. Those lacking virus protection safeguards on their computers were hit by what Norton identified as an intrusion attack labeled "Facebook Fake Survey #6."
The e-mail or social networking site post purporting to be from Gmail read as follows:
We have recently teamed up with Apple for a one-time promotional event today and are giving away free Apple iPads to randomly selected people who have an email account with Gmail. You have been selected as one of our newest winners for this promotion. We randomly choose numbers to match up with Gmail addresses and your email address matched our latest drawing.
We partnered up with Apple to advertise their hottest product yet, the Apple iPad 3. In order for them to make room for the iPad 3, they are clearing out current inventory of the iPad 2. Part of this process
involves offering promotional giveaways in order to help promote the new iPad. To claim your free iPad simply type into your browser (MyGmailRewards.com).
We purposefully omitted the rewards website link due to security reasons, thus, you will need to manually type in the web address. During our last promotion we had many unauthorized individuals claim rewards that were not meant for them by using a method called "link hijacking" whereby a virus would redirect any link contained in your email to someone else. Our new rewards system is much more secure now by allowing, only you, to see this email and have access to unique website address above. Once you arrive at our rewards website, simply enter your email address so we can locate our records to guarantee that we have reserved one for you. That's it!
In case you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me directly. We do suggest you claim your iPad first to ensure one will be set aside for you before the deadline ends. You may possibly receive this email after the deadline ends. However, we highly recommend you enter your email anyway to see if yous is still on hold. During our last promotion we had several unclaimed iPads because others hadn't claimed theirs in time and they never checked back after the deadline.
Congratulations on winning our Apple iPad 2 Giveaway.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Short and sweet, there is no Facebook/Apple promotional event that gives away iPhones and iPads to those who fill out website surveys. The e-mail announcing same is not from Mark Zuckerberg, Gmail, Craigslist, Facebook or Apple. Instead, the message promising these freebies is but the come-on to a survey scam wherein those dazzled by the prospect of scoring free Apple goodies instead find themselves fleeced.
Anyone who follows the proffered link and attempts to lay claim to his prize is told he must first complete a survey as part of the claims process. This "survey" requires the user to supply his cell phone number, yet by doing so the unwary is in actuality signing up for an expensive text messaging service that bills several dollars per message sent.
Should the user continue further, he will find himself presented with a further array of surveys, each weaseling more personal information from him. Finally, the exhausted pigeon will land on a web page that trumpets him as a "potential winner" with one last question to be answered: "Is it possible to video call with the iPhone 4S?"
The con artists running the con make their money via commissions through affiliate marketing schemes — each and every time someone completes a survey, they get paid. The free iPads and iPhones are nothing but a lie used to lure folks into completing surveys and unknowingly signing up for services they otherwise wouldn't want.
Those intent upon snapping up free stuff via such lures should keep in mind that there is often a further downside to the process beyond their personal disappointment and the financial enrichment of the scam artists preying upon their gullibility: All too often such adventures in clickjacking also result in the download of trojans and other viruses onto the computers of those looking to score the promised goodies.