We’ve all seen them before, those adverts on the internet offering you completely free Apple iPhone’s, XBox 360’s, iPad’s, Laptop computer’s and limitless other types of expensive gadgetry. They seem to be everywhere. Over time I think my brain has trained it’s self to subconciously ignore ads like that out because I am a self confessed skeptic. If someone offers me something for free I ask questions.
Unfortunately we live in a society where nothing is ever truly free, there is always a catch. As this article will demonstrate there is a of course a catch with these free offers but it isn’t as bad as you might expect. With a little research you can protect yourself from the scammers and take advantage of legitimate offers.
So just last week I decided I would begin a little experiment and see if I could in fact score myself a free iPhone through one of these ‘freebie’ networks. The ad read ‘Sign up now and receive your free iPhone 4‘. My scam senses went into overdrive, but I clicked on it and as I expected the ad proved a little deceptive in it’s claim.
Determined to find out how it all worked and if these offers were actually legitimate or not I continued on through the sign up process to discover that the website required me to complete an offer from one of their sponsors. I flipped through the offers list and found one offered by Intuit (Wikipedia link) for a 30 day free trial of their website building software.
The reason I chose Intuit is because I know that they are a large, legitimate software company, listed on the American stock exchange and have been specialising in financial software for a long time. (You would have heard of Quicken, Quickbooks and maybe TurboTax).
Upon clicking on the Intuit offer link I immediately checked the URL and security certificates associated with it to confirm that it wasn’t some kind of phishing website. I noticed after looking at the source code on the freebies website that the URL that redirected me to the Intuit website began with ‘http://www.kqzyfj.com‘. This in it’s self looked a bit suspect to me so I investigated further. A whois search and a quick Google search revealed that the ‘kqzyfi.com’ domain belongs to one of the largest affiliate marketing groups in North America, Commission Junction (Wikipedia Link).
Satisfied that it was legitimate I entered my details on the sign up form and sheepishly provided them with my credit card number. This was a requirement even though the offer was free. The terms and conditions on the freebie website indicate that there is no obligation to continue the offer after the initial 30 day free trial.
The Let Down
After signing up I returned to the ‘freebies’ site and signed in, horrifyingly I noticed that the website still told me that I had not completed a valid offer! Satisfied I had proven the whole thing to be a sham and feeling slightly worried about what happened to my credit card details, I logged out.
But I was wrong. The next day, out of interest, I logged back in and lo-and-behold there was big green tick in my profile telling me I was now eligible to begin referring people in order to receive my free 32gb SIM free iPhone 4. That’s right, the catch was that I had to refer 29 people in order to receive my ‘free gift’.
The ‘freebies’ website I have been referring to is the freebiejeebies network and after some thorough Google research and forum questions it appears that this network is very much legitimate and there appears to be a lot of users that have proven successful in receiving various types of free gadgetry through the referral system.
I threw together this little diagram in Photoshop to illustrate how Freebie Jeebies works. (Please ask me if you want to use it, don’t steal it!)
So I have dedicated a category in this blog to my quest to debunk the ‘all free iPhone offers‘ are scams myth once and for all by posting my progress reports and hopefully my successful results right here.
I still need some referrals so if you are interested in taking part in my little experiment then click on my referral link below and sign up. Leave me a comment here and I will make sure that I credit your assistance in my next article, I will also allow people who help me to post their own referral links in the comments and possibly at the end of the experiment.
My referral link: http://gadgets.freebiejeebies.co.uk/184836
There is a great community forum that is dedicated to a couple of these freebie networks, including freebiejeebies called Exceem. Be sure to take a look over there if you are still a little skeptical. Also make sure you check out the ‘Freebies Myths‘ article over at about.com.
Exceem – FreebieJeebies Forum – http://www.exceem.co.uk/forums/freebiejeebies/
Warning: I am by no means trying to say that all of these free offer websites are trustworthy, if you take the time to do a little research for yourself before committing to any kind of offers you greatly lessen your risk of becoming the victim of a scam.
This article is written to offer my own research on one particular affiliate networking company in order to give an idea of what to look out for when considering one of these offers and to give you a chance to hopefully see some real results here on this blog. (After I get 29 referrals).