How to Spot a Freebie Fake
(My tips were featured in All You Magazine – August 2011)
- Look closely at the site. Is it a company whose name you recognize? Is the site poorly made? Are there broken links, bad graphics or errors?
- Check the date the site was made. Usually, this is located in the footer at the bottom of the page. If it is recent, do some more digging.
- Search for the owner of the site via WHO IS.
- Call the company
- Do a search for the item, or the website address with the word “scam” or “fake freebie” nine times out of ten, if it is a reported scam, you will find sites listing it as such.
- If you do submit your information, look for pop up’s, or an offer for a free sample that is totally unrelated to the freebie, this is a good sign the offer isn’t legit.
- Trust your gut! If it just doesn’t look right to you, no matter how many sites are posting it, then don’t sign-up for it.
- Sign up for a free email address from hotmail, gmail, or yahoo to use when signing up to cut down on email offers or spam
- If you are asked to answer a million questions, chances are they are just phishing for your information or for you to sign up for other offer that make them money when you do. Steer Clear.
- Make sure the sample is available in your State/Country by reading all terms by the manufacturer.
- NEVER give out financial information. Most free sample offers require your name, mailing address, email and phone number.
- When signing up for free sample or products, be sure to uncheck where they offer to send you information, this is unless of course you want the information, this will cut down on unwanted emails..
- Don’t give your real phone number unless you trust that it is a reputable company.
- Set up and use Google’s AutoFill Application (already installed on the toolbar) for a quicker way to fill in forms. Most browsers have this option, look in under “tools” for directions.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SIGNED UP FOR A SCAM/FAKE FREEBIE?
Most scam/fake sites create these “scam/fake freebies” for a few reasons – The first is to collect your information and then sell this to companies who will most likely spam you. If you use a dedicated email account just for freebies, you will most likely see spam messages. This is why you shouldn’t use your regular email account to request.
Another reason people create scam sites is to make money. If you have ever received a pop up at the end of submitting your information, or an offer for another free sample, this is most likely a link to an affiliate site where the person who made the site gets paid every time you click the link. A clear example are those email submit forms, those that promise something free. No self respecting company will have this at the end of their free sample submit form.