The advertisers in this email are not affiliated with any of the above brands.
Apparently it’s okay to pretend to be McDonald’s as long as you put in a disclaimer that says you’re not affiliated with them.
The perpetrators of this email are in that grey area between outright fraud and “legitimate” advertising. (The scare quotes on “legitimate” reflect our opinion that there is very little difference between spam and other forms of advertising.) As with all prize based marketing, there is must be a way you can actually claim the prize but it would probably be easier to put yourself through college, find a job and earn the money to buy it.
This particular message is almost all images. Using images is a common spam filter evasion technique. Obviously the senders are aware that their message is rather spammy.
All of the links in the message go to the same URL
which just redirects to
and shows you this page:
So we have three “survey” questions, an option to “Select Your Free Gift” and a place to enter an email address. The implication here is that you’re handing your email address over to a McDonald’s sponsored survey in exchange for . . . AN APPLE iPad!!!
Other prize choices include:
- $250 McDonald’s Gift Card
- $250 Applebee’s Gift Card
- $250 WalMart Gift Card
- $250 Apple Gift Card
- $250 Best Buy Gift Card
- Apple iPhone 4g
Wow that’s a no brainer! Or at least it would be if they weren’t . . . er . . . stretching the truth (to the breaking point).
Read the fine print:
Powered by YourRewardInside.com. YourRewardInside.com is an independent rewards program and not associated with any of the above listed merchants or brands. The above listed merchants or brands in no way endorse or sponsor YourRewardInside.com’s offer and are not liable for any alleged or actual claims related to this offer. The above listed trademarks and service marks are the marks of their respective owners. YourRewardInside.com is solely responsible for all Gift fulfillment. 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.
Copyright © 2004-2010 YourRewardInside.com All rights reserved.
So, theoretically, you could get one of these gifts if you satisfy the four points listed above. We’re betting that’s damn near impossible.
If you decide to go for it and hand over your address (we gave them a fake one) you get this page:
Hmmmm . . . so just an email address isn’t enough information. They also want name, address, birth date and phone numbers. And if you give them this you get a much bigger survey.
We’ve pointed out before that this is an excellent way to spot scammy web sites and this is no exception.
Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
BTW, if anyone has actually made it through one of the prize chasing mazes and received anything of value we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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