I try my best to keep an eye out for any freebies or deals that look a bit sketchy, if there are any I feel weary about I won’t post it on the site. So far I have been wrong about just one but I want to share some tips for you guys to watch out for yourselves.
Signs to look for :
- Pop-Up After Form Submit. This is a big red flag for most sites that the offer is fake and they are only trying to get your information. Most of the time the pop up is for an ad or something along those line, you probably know the ones I am talking about. This also typically happens on websites that are actual legit sites but get “hacked” and have this page inserted onto their site to make it seem like a more legit offer. (Note : the only legit site I see do this are the magazine pages that require you to click through 3 or 4 pages of offers)
- Brand New Website and/or Links Don’t Work. This is common with small websites that are just thrown up over night to offer you a free sample of some sort to acquire your information. Most of the time these sites consist of very little product information and is more focused around a free sample offer.
- Companies info. not working. A lot of times if there is not a company name, address, phone number, etc. listed or if the phone number does not work this is a sign that the offer may be non-legit. Sometimes a random phone number is thrown up on the site to make it look real, you can always call the company directly to verify.
Why do they do this?
There are a few reason companies may want your information. They may want to send you spam email or other offers themselves or they plan to sell your information, both are possible and the main reasons they do this. Some may even try to load malware on your computer when you load the offer page.
How do you protect yourself?
If you don’t feel comfortable giving out all your information you can give your first name and last initial. I typically do this only because I don’t feel they need everything, just where to send my freebie to!
- Get virus protection - This is something i recommend to everyone doing these deals. When you click on different link after different link you’re bound to run across some malware which is typical but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to protect your system. I highly recommend everyone having an anti virus program and running scans often. A great free spyware program to use is Microsoft Security Essentials (this is what I currently use)
- Create a separate email account - We all know how these deals entail you giving your email. Create a separate email account to sign up with all these offers on so they don’t possibly junk up your good email account. I actually have four emails. I have one for my blog only, one for my sign ups and offers, one for all my surveys and one main one that my hubby and I share. That’s a lot of emails I know but it works for me.
- Phone Number Required - Never hand out your regular phone number unless it’s a sweepstakes or a site that you want contacting you. With sweepstakes you DO want them calling you to tell you if you’ve won! I don’t suggest handing out your neighbors number or your ex’s but instead use a fax number or the number to your local weather line.
- Password Required - It’s a general rule to never use the same password for everything, this is especially important if you ever have to create an account to sign up for an offer. Never use your password that goes to your personal accounts such as email, Twitter, Banks, etc. I recommend coming up with a specific password to use on all freebie requests.
Thanks Gimmie Freebies for some of these tips!
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