How to Avoid Scams and Spam!

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How to Avoid Scams and Spam!

With so many Fake Freebies popping up, I thought I would share some info I have found on how to avoid them. I know most Freebie site don’t intentionally post fake offers, but they do slip through every now and again.

  • Too good to be true – Most offers that appear too good to be true usually are. Examine the motivation for the free offer. A free trial size shampoo makes sense because they are trying to sell shampoo. A free vacation is unlikely, unless there are large hidden charges attached.
  • Suspicious websites- If a website has tons of ads and does not look legit to you, just skip it. Also, if a website has the words “free” (Example: in it’s address name, it is not a real freebie and is a scam. If a website looks badly constructed, has lots of spelling and grammatical errors, bombards you with downloads or pop ups you should ask yourself – “Do I trust this website with my information and are they really going to send me a freebie?” The answer could well be no. If a website has enough money to send out thousands of freebies – why haven’t they spent the same amount of money developing a profession looking website? The answer could be that they have no freebies to give out and only want your details.
  • URL- If the website URL is from a free hosting domain such as yahoo or yola, don’t take a chance. Surely a real company could afford an address without hosts.
  • Use an alternative email- when signing up for freebies, it’s always good to use a alternative email, not your main one. That way, if you do fall for a scam, it will all go to your other side account and not clog up your main one. I recommend a yahoo or hotmail or gmail account because they have good storage and junk mail filter.
  • Win-win? – Usually, when the company give out freebies, they do it so people can sample their products and possibly purchase them in the future. If the website is offering “free samples”, look for a link or something back to the company. If there is no link or address, how will customers contact them again to buy products? No company would willing give away thousands of products with no way for contact.
  • Owner? – Do you know who owns the site? If they are giving away “free dove samples”, is URL If it’s not the actual company offering the product, it is likely a scam.
  • Don’t pay for prizes – If you get email or postal mail proclaiming you the winner of a great prize and all you have to do is pay a fee to claim it, don’t. It’ s a scam and the only winners are the scammers.
  • Read the fine print – If the site looks suspicious to you, read their FAQ or Terms of Agreement (if there is one). Does it guarantee that you’ll get the freebie or that it is not a scam? If it says it’s not affiliated in any way with the product, or anything like that, move on.
  • Beware email collection scams – Most of the sites that consist of nothing but a form offering free stuff are there to collect email addresses for spammers. These sometimes have long lists of offers or “newsletters” you can subscribe to. If you are tempted to sign up for these, be sure to use a disposable email address.

Other ways to help protect you from spam & identity theft are:

  • When signing up for a freebie that requires a birth date, use a fake one. I always use the same one when filling out forms so I can remember it. You can find out a lot of information on a person if you have their name, address & birth date!
  • NEVER give out your social security number! Unless it is a legitimate Credit company with a secured browser, this should be a given, but it needs to be said. If a company is offering a Free anything, and asks for your SSN, just back away.
  • If you don’t want to get phone calls at home from offers you signed up for, sign up for Google Voice.  It’s FREE and will create a new phone number for you.  You can give this number out when you sign up for offers and Google Voice will take messages for you online.

Learn more about Google Voice here.

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  1. Kate F. says:

    These are great tips! I hate getting spam in my email inbox.

  2. VinceTheOtaku says:

    Very helpful, must admit I made some of these mistakes.

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