Facebook users warned of Apple iPad scam

Thousands tricked into thinking they are registering to test Apple’s latest product

Tags: Apple IncorporatedApple iPadApple tabletCyber crimeFacebook IncorporationUSAUnited Arab EmiratesUnited Kingdom
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Facebook users warned of Apple iPad scam Security experts believe the public's desire for a bargain and lust for new gadgets is driving the current spate of iPad-related scams. (Getty Images)
By  Vineetha Menon Published  March 2, 2010

A new Facebook scam tricking users into thinking they are registering to become a beta tester of the highly-anticipated Apple iPad is doing the rounds, IT security firm Sophos has warned.

Thousands in the United Kingdom and USA have already been tricked into signing up for a premium rate mobile phone service when, in truth, they thought they were registering to beta-test Apple's latest product. The Facebook pages have names such as "iPad Researchers Wanted - Get An iPad Early And Keep It!" and "The Mega iPad Giveaway!"

According to Sophos, the scam pages invite Facebook users to become a ‘fan' of the page and are asked to invite their friends to do the same, and take part in a special promotion. The third stage of the hoax is to get them to ‘claim' their prize where the victim is typically taken to an online quiz that also asks for their cellphone number in order to SMS them the results.

"As if inviting all of your friends to participate in a scheme that you haven't properly investigated wasn't bad enough, the biggest mistake of all is to hand over your mobile phone number," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "You will be signed up for a premium rate service, costing you in the region of $10 every week, until you unsubscribe. The scammers who created the fake iPad Facebook pages are undoubtedly skimming off some of this money by bringing new unwitting subscribers to the cellphone service."

"And these scams aren't just limited to iPads - we've also seen scam pages offering other expensive electronics and 'premium' services on Facebook. The one thing in common is that all of these pages are designed to trick you into believing that you are going to receive something which  the scammers have no intention of delivering," added Cluley.

Unfortunately many fall prey to such scams because they believe fake positive comments posted on the page by other Facebook users claiming that the offer is genuine. A video detailing elements of the iPad scam can be viewed here or by accessing the Video tab above.

Members are advised not to invite friends to join any Facebook pages or applications unless they have been properly researched.

3292 days ago
Amy

Although there are obviously a couple of scammers out there that have made plenty of money out of people wanting a free ipad, people shouldn't let one scammer put them off getting what is there for the taking on the internet. Companies like HSBC, Alliance and Leicester, Lovefilm, Netflix, Blockbuster, Sky and BT pay incentive sites like FreebieJeebies (mainly UK but kind of international) good money for you to try their product (and there genuinely are free trials of products from household name companies, there are also paid ones, but obviously the free ones are the most popular and the ones that you want to go for) and FreebieJeebies then pass this cash (well, most of it) onto you in the form of any reward you want. This will also include 'free ipads'. The BBC, CNN, NBC and tech magazine T3 have fully investigated and found this to be all legitmate, backed by some of the largest worlwide companies around, the free ipad is simply a different form of the marketing via the internet that started with the free iPod sites. You can now get anything you want. Be sensible, do your research. For goodness sake don't get scammed, search the internet, you can find out pretty quickly if something is legit on the internet nowadays. Find something genuine and you'll soon see that you can get all the gadgets you want for free, you just have to be a bit savvy about it and not get conned.

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