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Better Business Bureau iPad Warning

by on April 9th, 2010

We have all seen emails that promise to deliver you money, gold and riches for only pennies. During the infancy of the Internet, many of us were tricked into believing some of these scams. As time goes on and we become more aware of these scams, most of us no longer get “duped” by these scams. This resulted in a huge financial  loss to the scammers of the world.  As a result, many of the scammers are rising to our intelligence. They are becoming increasingly more sophisticated with their social engineering techniques.

We are now at the infancy of the iPad and before the iPad was released to the public, scammers were busy devising ways to take advantage of early adopters. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns eager shoppers to stay away from offers to become a “tester” just to get a free iPad.

Apple announced the iPad in January and US customers were able to pre-order in March for the April release.  Unfortunately, Apple bumped the delivery date for later orders and as a result rumors started circulating that the company did not have enough iPads to meet pre-order demand.  This presented an opportunity for scammers. Scammers started spamming our email and offering  that “You can become a tester or researcher and get an iPad for free!” This is a deal that sounds, and definitely is, too good to be true.

Tech Web site GeekSugar.com recently warned about spam emails requesting product testers for the iPad. The email directs you to the Web site Testitandkeepit.com which claims that they are looking for people to test the iPad for a couple months, and as compensation you get to keep the iPad. The biggest red flag with this offer is that you have to provide your email address and password in order to “tell your friends.”

Offers to become a tester on Facebook have also cropped up but with a different intent. As software company Sophos explains in an online video, the Facebook page “iPad Researchers Wanted—Get an iPad Early and Keep It” was designed to trick people into signing up for a cell phone subscription service that cost $10 a month. Sophos alerted Facebook to the page—which had already racked up more than 3,500 fans—and it was taken down, but users should be on the lookout for similar offers.

Not all bogus offers come under the guise of becoming a tester, McAfee reported on their security blog that spam emails are circulating that offer free iPads—the catch is that you have to buy items first and provide your credit card number.

If you’re planning to buy an iPad, the BBB recommends shopping through an authorized retailer or directly with Apple.  Eventually a secondary market for the iPad will spring up online on sites like Craigslist; if you plan on buying an iPad secondhand, purchase it from someone local and never wire money as payment.

[BBB]

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