The Free Phone Scam
The free phone scam is one of the most famous in the long line of free gifts scams around today. The problem is that it doesn't look like going away any time soon. I am sure that almost all of us has at least come upon an ad or received an email claiming that we are entitled or have won a free gift. Now I will show you how those scams work and the danger they pose to us.
There are usually two different approaches that the scammers use, one poses a threat to us, another is just a prank. Let's look at the prank approach first. Here, you will receive an email, claiming to be from a certain phone company or famous retail company. The email will claim that you will be able to receive a free phone as long as you forward that email to other people.
So far, they claim that to get a free phone, you will need to forward it to at least 8 people. And if you forward it to more than 20 people, you will get among the latest and most expensive phone as the free gift. They claim that they are trying to increase their brand exposure by doing so. You will then have to forward the list of emails you've sent to, to them so that they can clarify it.
Of course, this is obviously a free phone scam. Most so the time, the scammers who did this scam are trying to tarnish the brand of the company the placed in their email. While most of the time it is just a prank, there is one thing to look out for. They will ask you to send them the list of emails you've sent to. They will most probably use those emails in the list for their other scams or sell it to other scammers.
Now comes the part of the free gifts scam, or more precisely the free phone scam that can pose a danger to us. They will send you an email similar to the method mentioned above. However, they won't be asking you to forward that email, instead they will usually use these two methods.
The first is asking you to provide your information to them so that they can send it to you. They will direct you to a certain website where you will be asked to fill out your name, address, and other personal information. After filing out that page, they will bring you to a page. In that page, they will claim that although they are providing you with the phone for free, you will need to pay for the shipping fees with your credit card. Yup, this fee phone scam method tries to steals your credit card info.
Now let's look at the second method that poses a danger to us. This scam works only with emails. They will send you an email claiming that you are one of the lucky people to have received a free phone. They will claim that even the delivery charges are free, and you do not need to give them your credit card info as well. But to receive that free phones, you will need to send them the voucher that they have included in that email.
They will claim that the first 50 or 100 people to send the voucher back to them will get the free phone. So where is the scam? It is in the attachment, hiding as the voucher. What it really is, is another virus and spy-ware. Once you click on it, it will install itself into your computer and try to steal all your personal information.
As you can see, there are more than one way the scammer tries to trick us. This scam does not only apply to the free phone scam, but to all the other free gifts scam as well. A general rule that will help you avoid being a victim is, never reveal your credit card to any website that you are unfamiliar with, and never open any attachment from an email sent by someone you do not know.
The Free Phone Scam: Return to the Online Danger main page
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