October 29, 2010

Free $1000 WalMart Gift Card

$1000 Wal-Mart Gift Card

Recently, I’ve received multiple emails offering a FREE $1,000 WalMart gift card. My first instinct was that these offers have got to be a scam. There has to be a catch, because nothing is free, especially for a $1,000 gift card. In addition, with all the exposures to Nigerian 419 frauds, phishing schemes and malware tricks out there, anything dubious sent via email should set off a warning signal in your brain.

A closer inspection reveals that the offer looks awfully similar to promotions being offered by Freezinger.com of Vancouver, BC. However, the emails were not sent by them. Even the contact us information in the email referred to Freezinger.com’s mailing address. In order to get the “free” WalMart gift card from Freezinger.com, you’ll need to participate in several promotions. The term promotion is used loosely here, as it is essentially products and services that participants will have to sign up for or purchase. This is also better known as a sophisticated cost per action marketing.

The folks at free-gift-card.us analyzed a similar free $1,000 WalMart gift card promotion and concluded that it would cost approximately $51 and one’s time to qualify for the free gift card. The offers can change from promotions to promotions and from month to month. This is not an endorsement to participate in such promotions, just that others have researched it more closely. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the promotion program carefully as some of these programs have rules that disqualify you from the reward if you cancel the promotion within a given time frame.

If these emails are promoting a cost per action program, then why didn’t the email come from the program provider? Digging a little bit further, the emails referenced the following domains, brochessaid.com, antikingman.com, isedomanayer.com, and sumeltersh.com. All these domains were registered via Godaddy.com in Sept and with registration information hidden from public view. Two possible reasons for this subterfuge are spam or affiliate marketing. Freezinger.com could just be covering their tracks or enlisted a third party to conduct spam marketing.

Furthermore, Freezinger.com participates in affiliation marketing that pays referrer for each conversion of getting people to enroll in their promotions, specifically to provide an email address. The emails could have been sent by an affiliate marketer, hoping to earn from $0.64 to $1.00 for each conversion. Somewhat similar to what other hucksters were doing with the free gift card scam on Facebook.
In the end, save yourself some time and sanity and ignore these promotions offerings a free gift card. These offers always have strings attached to them. Furthermore, you will never know what other nefarious schemes are associated with the offers, such as malware, spyware, etc.

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Readers' Comment (2) | Posted by Alex | Filed under: Scams

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