If you want to receive more spam than you could possibly imagine then you should definitely participate in this offer. As far as we can tell it’s technically legal but that doesn’t make it any less of a scam. This is the old, tried and true, “give us a bunch of information we might give you a prize” sweepstakes offer. If you substitute “money” for “information” this is the same ploy that’s been used by carnival pitch men since, well, as long as there have been carnivals.
Here’s the email:
Subject: Thank you,your request is pending
From: Chloe Johnston <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We thank you for your interest.
To complete your request and receive your $500 Walmart giftcard,
please visit this url.
Also please tell your friends about this promotion, but hurry,
offer must end soon.
You are receiving this email in response to a request made via our
website. Your data has not been saved and you will not be contacted
Cut and paste the URL above into your browser’s address bar and you’ll be taken to this website:
If you go there, the first thing you’ll notice is that the email says $500 gift card but the website says “a $1000 Value”. Apparently the spammer that sent the email is not up to date on the offer which is pretty bad considering that their rules page hasn’t been updated in over a year.
The page itself is pretty much devoid of information except for loudly proclaiming that you can
Get a free WalMart gift card – a $1000 Value
in exchange for your email address. And, not so loudly
Participation required. Click for details.
If you scroll down you’ll find a lot of fine print about how better-gifts.net is not affiliated with WalMart and that they’re “an independent rewards program”. There are also a bunch of links that go to various legal CYA information about how likely you are to really get a gift card from WalMart. (Hint: Not very.)
However, the most important pieces of fine print are these (and they’re right out in the open):
You agree to receive promotional emails and special offers from trusted 3rd parties including DealSave.net.
In order to receive your gift you must: (1) Meet the eligibility requirements (2) complete the rewards bonus survey (3) complete a total of 13 Sponsor Offers as stated in the Gift Rules (4) Follow redemption instructions.
What they’re saying is really “if you give us your contact information and jump through enough hoops we might compensate you.” Keep in mind that the way this works is they offer you a prize and make it extremely difficult to claim so they don’t have to give out a lot of prizes. Yep, this is straight out of a carnival midway.
Just say no.
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