Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2011 ]
Origins: While the "free iPad/iPod" hoax has been kicking about on the Internet for a few years, the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs in October 2011 inspired scam artists to unleash anew. Within hours of that visionary's passing, the unwary were being tricked into lining the pockets of scam artists via the promise of free Apple goodies for those who clicked on what purported to be links taking them to the prize.
The phony come-ons were spread via Facebook and Twitter posts. As with other "survey scams," the links hopeful users clicked led to entreaties to fill out surveys of various natures prior to accessing their freebie. And as with other survey scams, there were no freebies to be had; instead, each survey completed by those hungering for a free iPad simply made money for the wolves fleecing the sheep.
Similarly, promises of free iPhones or MacBooks in memory of Steve Jobs led down the same garden path to the same result: No freebies for the hopeful, but instead money landing in the pockets of those running the con.
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.
Last updated: 10 October 2011