Have you ever surfed around the internet looking for free stuff only to discover that it wasn’t really free? I really hate that. Oftentimes when you search for free stuff you will come to websites that claim you can get free make-up, office supplies, or even tutorials only to discover that the thing you wanted wasn’t really free after all. Instead you discover you have to pay for shipping and postage, or you have to complete offers, or a survey or both before you can get that mascara, box of Ziploc bags or whatever.
Now anyone that has read my articles or my Paid Online Opportunities or How to Get Free Stuff blogs knows I am a big fan of free things. In fact I support this idea so much that I have available a free fantasy romance novella, The Mark of the Guardian, and a free serial reincarnation romance Soul Memories which anyone can can get access to when they sign up for my newsletter. (The newsletter is free too!) This is one way for me to give back to the reader community for all their support since my first book Getting Out Alive was released back in July 2005, as well as support the idea that there are really free things available to us all.
So, how do you spot a free stuff scam so you can keep yourself from getting fleeced?
First Rule: If the free item being offered sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You see these kinds of offers all the time on line, ones that offer computers, flat screen televisions, or color printers. When you click on the link which is generally a pop-up or other type of ad on a website you are visiting it will ask you for your e-mail address. This should be a warning to you immediately that someone is trolling for e-mail addresses. If you look at the very bottom in the fine print you will see a disclaimer saying you have to complete a certain number of offers before you can get your free computer, television or whatever. Keep in mind always that if it sounds too good to be true, then don’t participate.
Second Rule: If they want you to pay shipping and handling, then it isn’t free and you should not participate. Now, some people might argue with me about this one, and say that if it’s a reasonable price then it is okay, but I disagree. If you have to pay anything and that includes shipping and handling then it is not free and should not be advertised as such.
Third Rule: If an offer for a free item comes to you unsolicited, then it is not free. There are all kinds of scammers on the internet these days who have no boundaries and will do anything to scam people. If someone is spamming you with offers for free stuff then they probably don’t have anything that’s good to offer and it is best to delete the e-mail, close the pop-up or under and just in leave these offers alone.
Fourth Rule: Never pay for prizes that should be free. Let’s say you enter an online or offline contest and suddenly you receive an e-mail in your inbox, or a letter in the mail saying that you have won a television or computer or some other great prize but… you have to pay a fee or go and listen to an ad speal in order to get your prize. Don’t do it. Anytime someone offers you something for free but then wants you to pay any kind of fee, it is not free, it is a scam.
Fifth Rule: If you visit a website that offers free stuff and all that is there is a form where you give them all your personal information, it is probably a scam and they are trying to get your e-mail address so they can send you spam e-mail.
As long as you keep these rules in mind when you are surfing the internet for free stuff you will be fine and not get fleeced. There are thousands of legitimate freebies online, you just have to be smart when you are searching for them.