WARNING: Free iPad Giveaway Scam
What’s Behind Those Free Laptop, iPod, Digital Camera and iPad Offers?
No doubt you've seen the ads promising a free laptop, iPod, digital camera, gift certificate to a fancy restaurant, iPad, etc. Who hasn't been tempted to look into such offers further, even if only to investigate the fine print?
If you take the bait, however, you will find that receiving your prize requires much more than simply filling out a form. First of all, of course, you will have to provide your e-mail address (which may have a surprising amount of value).
The next step, in addition to filling out a multipage questionnaire, is to consider the offers of one or more third-party sponsors. You may find this cycle is repeated multiple times throughout the registration process.
In other words, in order to get your "free" gift, you will be asked to at least consider purchasing something that is not free. Some of these offers may involve recurring fees.
Free iPad Scam - The Plot Thickens
There are pitfalls when trying to "win" a free iPad
As you hurry through the process of filling out forms, you may not notice that some boxes are checked by default, which means that you agree to signing up for regular e-mails, sharing your e-mail address with third parties, and even to having software installed on your computer.
By this time, if you are like many people, you will abandon the process before receiving your "free" gift, which at this point seems quite costly. By now, however, you have already shared your e-mail address, and software may already have been loaded onto your computer (Mac users may or may not be spared in this regard). At the very least, you may have signed up for things that you wouldn't have considered otherwise, including lots of e-mail.
Even if you should make it to the end of the process, you may be dismayed to find that you must now convince two other people to go through the same guantlet. If you have some enemies who otherwise trust you, it might work, but most people will be disinclined to send their friends through the same rigmarole. There may be other requirements before you get your "free" iPad-if you ever do.
Before You Set Up Your Own iPad Scam
There are better ways to build a Mailing List
List building can be a lucrative enterprise, and such a scheme can allow such an operator to build up a nice sized marketing list and to be paid by companies who are eager to have traffic driven to their sites as well.
However, if, as a business owner, you are considering utilizing this technique, you should be aware that the e-mails you succeed in acquiring may not be those of happy customers. They will be those who feel they have made a mistake, and they will not be extremely favorably disposed to any marketing e-mail messages they may get.
Of course, you may generate some income and build a list, but that list may be of people who feel that their addresses were obtained by devious methods and may be rather hostile to any offers they receive.
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iPad and iPhone: Do You Really Need It?
First there was the personal computer. This included the Atari, the Amiga, the Apple II and the venerable Commodore 64.
Later, as miniaturization and the price-performance ratio of computers advanced, personal computers got smaller and more powerful. In the 1990s came the PDAs or portable digital assistants, a fancy term for a pocket-sized computer (or what some would dismiss as a glorified calculator).
Many pundits wondered if such devices would ever take off. They thought of them as little more than glorified toys. They said they were no more convenient than the paper pocket organizer but had more disadvantages, such as expense, breakability and complexity. In addition, they were targets of theft.
Compare then and now, however, and it is like night and day. Almost everybody has a cell phone or smart phone, which is really just a PDA with the ability to make phone calls. Even the iPod touch, which is primarily a music player, has capabilities and a screen quality that the old style PDAs could only dream of.
Nowadays, schoolkids think that if they don't have an iPhone or iPad, they're going to be left behind. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense; after all, how much information does the average schoolkid really need to keep track of? And yet parents are expected to spend upwards of $200 for cell phone plus the monthly usage fee.
Perhaps things have not really changed that much after all. Today the iPad and iPhone are seen more as status symbols than anything else.
The Old-School Alternatives
It's true, as the technophiles will point out, that this modern technology allows one to more efficiently organize and store information, but the simple fact is that the average person does not have a whole lot of information to store and organize.
Organizing files, keeping track of dates and appointments, and planning projects works perfectly well with pen and paper. Besides, these old-fashioned, old-school tools give you a more visceral, hands-on approach. They can be modified easily, taken anywhere and inexpensively replaced.
This is not to say that computers don't have their uses. Even the iPad is indispensable for some people. If you are the type of person who has to have every moment of their life planned out to the minute, an iPad is definitely a good choice for you.
Still, many believe that if something is not broken, then why fix it? People have been getting along with pencil and paper for a long time and they see no reason to change. You can keep your shiny new iPad or iPhone; they'll stick with their battered paper notebook any day.
The reality, however, is that computers are becoming more and more essential in our everyday lives, and those who fail to become comfortable them are eventually going to be left behind!
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Debate - Are Free iPad Offers Scams?
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Are there legitimate free iPad offers out there?