Cell Phone Message Scam: No, You Didn’t Win an iPad
All I had to do was visit the website in the message, enter my cell phone number to claim my iPad.
Anybody who knows me is able to tell you two things:
I ended up on this website: http://www.socialstatistic.com/ (There is NO Homepage. Trying to access the Homepage, results in an error.)
Just a field to enter my cell phone number, nothing else.
At the bottom of the screen it reads: “Prior to qualifying for your prize, you’ll be presented with optional third party offers. You do not need to complete these offers in order to receive your chance to get a prize.”
Hey! I thought I won already? You said I had been selected already!
I spotted 3 links at the very bottom (and some outdated Copyright information) and clicked on the microscopic “Terms” link, and found this lengthy “Terms & Conditions” page (PDF-download):
Section 1 reads:
1. Website Service and Billing Information
Normal carrier charges and taxes for downloading or messaging may apply to any Content you receive from WWW.SOCIALSTATISTIC.COM. “Content” means collectively, text alert messages available on the Website. Text messaging capability is required for all WWW.SOCIALSTATISTIC.COM services. Internetenabled handsets are required to download multimedia Content (e.g. ringtones, wallpapers, games, videos, etc.), but certain web-enabled handsets such as the iPhone, Pre, and Sidekick devices are NOT compatible with the multimedia Content provided by WWW.SOCIALSTATISTIC.COM.
By registering for a subscription service, you authorize WWW.SOCIALSTATISTIC.COM to bill you through your mobile telephone carrier. Message and Data Rates May Apply. You confirm you are the owner of the phone or have permission of the owner to incur these charges. Do not enter your personal PIN Code unless you have read, understand and agree to these terms and conditions. Monthly Club subscriptions are billed the recurring applicable subscription fee each month until you cancel the subscription. Monthly subscribers are billed on a 30-day cycle, which begins on the first day you sign up for the subscription and ends 30 days thereafter (your “Billing Cycle”). Your mobile phone bill will be charged on the first day of each Billing Cycle. You agree that normal carrier charges (e.g. WAP, MMS, GPRS, and SMS) may apply. Unused monthly credits do not roll-over to the next monthÕs Billing Cycle. You agree that if any attempt to bill you for your subscription fails for any reason, including non-payment by you or errors on the part of your mobile telephone company, WWW.SOCIALSTATISTIC.COM reserves the right to re-bill you for any outstanding fees.
No where does it state HOW MUCH they charge for their “Subscription Service”. And who the heck is SOCIALSTATISTIC.COM anyways?
Shocker. Their domain registration is private.
Both domain names seem to belong to someone in Canada.
DON’T go the website.
DON’T enter you cell phone number.
DON’T enter any pin code. EVER.
Note: Apple’s official company name is Apple Inc (with a CAPITAL “I”). It’s a dead giveaway right there.
BTW, the message only says “Free Message”. It’s not.
Talk to your carrier if you did fall for it. Most likely they will remove these charges. But you have to do it fast – AT&T for example says they will only go back 30 days.