Credit Card Scams: Don't Fall for ‘Free’ Apple iPad Offers

Steve Jobs and the iPadWith the much-ballyhooed debut of Apple’s iPad days away, Internet security experts are warning social media users and others not to fall for ‘free iPad’ offers that even sound like they are authorized by Apple.
They are not, and they simply will end up costing you a monthly expense on your credit card for something you didn’t ask for or want.
The iPad tablet computer is set to go on sale April 3.   
“As with most events that generate a lot of media and consumer interest, this one also generated curiosity from the spammer community. They wonder how they can leverage this event to steal your sensitive information,” wrote Sam Masiello today on McAfee’s TrustedSource blog.
The scams claim you can win a free iPad, but you need to provide a shipment address and purchase something that requires a credit card, said Masiello, who is director for Messaging Security Research at McAfee.
“As the release date for the iPad approaches, more scams such as this are likely to emerge, using email, social media technologies, and common search engine terms for delivery,” he said.
“Free iPad” ads have also appeared on Facebook and other social media sites. Some even claim to be part of an iPad beta test, indicating that you can end up keeping the iPad at the term’s end.
Some scams establish Facebook fan pages that elevate the legitimate appearance of the offer and help draw more of your friends and their friends and so on.
Sophos.com explains that the fraudsters behind the fan page encourages you to invite all your friends and that such referrals will increase your chances of being accepted for the beta test.
“Of course, in reality, it increases the number of people who might be taken to the cleaners by the scammers,” said Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant on his blog.
Eventually, Cluley said, the target is taken to a webpage which is meant to resemble an official form on Apple’s site. You are then asked to take a brief survey followed by a request for personal contact information, including date of birth and mobile phone number, he said.
“And that’s where the scam happens,” Cluley said. “The hackers who created this page are trying to sign you up for a premium rate cell phone service that will charge you something like $10 a week until you unsubscribe.”

7 thoughts on “Credit Card Scams: Don't Fall for ‘Free’ Apple iPad Offers

  • Pingback:Don’t Fall for the 'Free' Apple iPad Credit Card Scam

  • March 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm
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    I understand people’s reluctance to sign up to anything, but there are established rewards companies like FreebieJeebies that are sponsored by HSBC, Alliance and Leciester, Lovefilm, Netflix, Blockbuster, Sky and BT and mnay more, just to get your to try a free trial of their products, you can get anything you want for free, including (when it is available internationally) the ipad.
    Please decide for yourself and do your research, although there are always going to be people out there trying to scam you, there are genuine incentive sites that mean people like me live at a standard we never could have afforded, with all the gadgets we want, without paying a penny. Be smart and use your head, don’t get scammed, but don’t miss out on any genuine oppurtunuities that are available to you because of internet scaremongering and a couple of scammers.

  • Pingback:Credit Card Scams: Don’t Fall for ‘Free’ Apple iPad Offers | WorldWar-E™

  • April 29, 2010 at 1:01 am
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    So anyone with my cell phone number can sign me up for a premium rate service? That doesn’t seem right. Lots of people give out their phone numbers to other people (e.g. on Craigslist).

  • July 18, 2010 at 4:26 am
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    I mostly agree with what has been said above, just don’t give any personal details unless you’re detailing with reputable companies.

  • September 7, 2010 at 11:57 am
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    Admirable blog! I’ll probably be referencing some of this facts in my next speech. I would appreciate it in the event you visited my weblog at

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