There is a lot of excitement about the release of the new iPhone 12 which is expected to be available beginning October 13th. As always, however, whenever the public is enthusiastic about something, so are the scam artists who are ready to exploit the public’s interest. A scam is appearing on Facebook and other social media where you are asked to “like” a promotion found on your Facebook page where you are told that merely by completing a survey and sharing a link with your friends, you will receive a free iPhone12. Of course, you are not going to get a free iPhone 12 in exchange for merely completing a survey and sharing a link with your friends. What you are going to get when you complete this particular survey, which requires you to provide your cell phone number, is a cramming charge on your cell phone bill for a text messaging service for which you have unwittingly signed up. As for your friends, if they click on the link that you have enabled them to receive, they will end up being defrauded as well.
The old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true” still stands. No one is giving away free iPhones to everyone who merely completes a survey. Legitimate companies do ask their customers to complete surveys and sometimes they will even provide an inducement for completing the survey, but generally, your reward is to be enrolled in a lottery for a particular prize. Everyone who completes the survey does not get a valuable prize. On the other hand, scammers are constantly sending out surveys that either, within the fine print, sign you up for an expensive services that is often added to your phone bill through a scam called “cramming” or they take the personal information you provide and use it to make you a victim of identity theft. As difficult as it sometimes may be, everyone should carefully examine their phone bill each month to make sure that no fraudulent cramming charges are included on the bill. If you find one or more, you should contact your phone service provider and instruct them to have the charges removed. Also, be wary of providing personal information to anyone even if they seem legitimate. Think about whether that information that you are asked to provide could be used against your best interests.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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