“iPad Research – Test and Keep” scam?

24 Feb 2010 (Wed)

AN ONLINE FRIEND ON FACEBOOK has just invited me to become a fan of “IPad Market Research – Test And Keep on Facebook”. I went to the page and saw:

iPad promo screenshot1

The text reads:

You are invited to test a new Apple iPad! Because of the big hype around the iPad, several companies are giving away iPads for review purposes as soon as they are available.

Yes, you really can get a new iPad, but only for a limited time, so be sure to enter right now!

It’s quick and easy, just follow these 3 simple steps :

Step 1: Become a Fan. Click the button below and Step 2 will be revealed.

Out of curiosity, I clicked on “Become a Fan” and steps 2 and 3 were shown:

iPad promo screenshot 2

IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION, the new fan is asked to invite all his/her friends to become fans and to copy a piece of javascript code when doing so. Being skeptical, I refused to disturb my friends and possibly expose them to a scam.

Instead, I simply clicked on the “3″ button and a new window opens:

“Sorry, this offer is unavailable in your country. You are now being redirected to a similar offer that is available in your country.”

In a second or two, I was brought to a site with lots of smiley icons. Before the page could fully load, I closed it.

HOW GULLIBLE CAN PEOPLE GET? As of now, there are over 6,000 fans on that page - an increase of a few hundreds since I first viewed the page. One of its earlier variants iPad Research Center – Test & Keep It had over 240,000 fans. By the way, the “comments”/”testimonies” on the promo page were not real. That’s just an inserted image. And I’ve of course removed myself from being a fan of the page.

Other variations:

  • Apple iPad Market Research Testing: Test and keep and iPad today
  • Testers Wanted: Test New iPad, Keep It
  • iPad Research Program – Test It and Keep It!
  • iPad Research Center – Test & Keep It

Beware too of scams galore on Facebook that promise freebies and may end up making you pay (literally) instead. For example, “Walmartstores.com: Gift Card Sponsor Offer Scam“.

As the blogger at blog.thequonk.com put it:

Be discerning. A marketing firm that is truly offering 10,000 free iPads should have enough money in their budget to put together an attractive, well-designed, correctly-functioning website and not rely just on Facebook as a marketing tool. I admit, Facebook is a pretty good place to start but it’s not the only place to go. Why do they not have an external website? Or the more obvious, why is there no company information? Founded in 2010? I don’t know what information it’s asking you for in the ‘Become a Tester’ application but you might want to change your Privacy Settings for future ‘deals’. iPad is the new toy and phishers know that. Read between the lines before you sign your life away for a free iPad. Make sure it is legit then you can sign your life away. =D

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Posted by J.K. in Problems, Social Media, Technology | View Comments |

  • http://rinaz.net rinaz

    Whats interesting is that there are a lot of gullible people who joins in groups without checking it properly.

    The most glaring one would be the “Keep Facebook free” group that claims that facebook will charge money for its use in April, when facebook has never given any official notice that it will do so.

  • http://www.clappingtrees.com JK

    Good point, Rinaz. For a moment, I did entertain the thought that maybe FB might charge a nominal fee.

    However, I’ve just found a Telegraph report through a Google search where FB flatly deny any such plans.

    Sometimes it’s mind-boggling. So much information everywhere. We probably need Superman’s x-ray vision to see through scams and such.

  • http://jantink.com Jan

    I, too, received an invitation to become a fan of this group and I immediately smelled a rat. It’s all too easy to click to get something “free”…what company would do this on facebook, where it would get overwhelmed with people who wanted to take advantage of such an offer?

    I got as far as the first step and thought, “nuh uh, no way!” I thought I’d research it first and found your blog. I won’t be fanning that page at all now, thanks for the information!

  • jenny

    ok i got the pop up thing for the ipad tester thing and this lady i think she was a robot or someting kept typing in “Click Here” or someting so I kept saying things like “what if i dont” or “screw you” it was fun but it got boring so i pressed the x button in the top corner

  • http://www.expertsatellite.com/ Alexander

    I also joined the group without checking it properly. After going through this Ill also remove myself from the list!

  • http://www.wbsonline.com Aaron

    I saw a similar ad the other day for a “Free $500 Cabela’s Gift Card” – the ad was even using an official Cabela’s trademark. Of course once you click in they state that they are not at all associated with said company…

    The gift card comes after completing 5 “third party offers” and agreeing to receive phone call solicitations from who knows who, and a slew of other vague “requirements”.

    I’m a little surprised this stuff is slipping through the cracks on FB, it would never get through editorial approval at Google or Yahoo…

  • http://www.australiandetox.com Faizan

    there are over 6,000 fans on that page – an increase of a few hundreds since I first viewed the page.

  • http://www.frankzweegersart.com Frank Zweegers

    Well it’s interesting how guillable people are. I mean how many times have you gotten an e-mail which said ‘Bill Gates is giving out his fortune, send this to …people’. And people do it! Maybe they’re hoping it could be true, why not give it a shot. I don’t know, it’s interesting though.

  • http://www.jazzsequence.com/geek-of-technology/scam-alert-testers-needed-test-apple-ipad-testitandkeepitcom/ jazzsequence » » Scam Alert: “Testers needed to test the Apple iPad” – testitandkeepit.com

    [...] by searching for “test it and keep it”, but i did find several posts in various different places that gave the impression that it was, in fact, a scam.  most of them, however, were not based on [...]

  • http://www.agentquote.co.uk/conveyancing.aspx Dan

    Thank you for your detailed description of this scam. Typically, facebook has been hijaked by the usual culprits, who are now making it a “not so fun / safe / good” environment to be in. I’m starting to think that the web is like a “rough” housing estate – the reality is that it’s likely to be a small minority of idiots who cause the vast majority of problems. I think there should be an international register of “banned” people, who will not be permitted to open accounts, sign up for broadband connections or rent server space. Difficult to implement? Where there’s a will – there’s a way.

  • Pete

    I am researching this item as it was sent to me via an email from one of my contacts. It asks me to provide my email provider, user name and password. I don’t think so! I can’t believe people still fall for this stuff.

  • http://www.furnishinghomes.co.uk/ Peter

    I do receive such type of attractive mails from different places. But frankly speaking I avoid such type of mails to avoid this situation.
    Have a nice day

  • http://Radiochatcancun.com WonK SenK

    Super-Duper wordpress blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, thanks.

  • http://www.jfgplastering.co.uk luton

    you must be very carefull who you sign up to

  • nathan1980

    Nice and informative article.Thanks for post

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