August 22, 2010, 11:18 AM — Scammers are hijacking Facebook accounts to send bogus "invites" to win an Apple iPad. But the only thing that will earn you is an invitation to be harassed by spammers and telemarketers.
Today, I received an invitation to an "Free! #iPad! Event!" allegedly from someone in my Facebook friends list.
That immediately tripped my mental Scam Alert, so I contacted the sender. Naturally, he did not send it, though I was the second person to mention this to him in the past week.
[ See also: That Facebook 'Dislike' button isn't real, unfortunately ]
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That Facebook invite links to an external site operated by Better-Gifts.net, which in turn is owned by a group called "Worldwide Commerce Associates." (Google them, and you'll find scores of similar sites.) These guys make money by rounding up offers from different affiliate marketing programs and selling your information to telemarketers.
"We may sell, brand or share your personal information that you supply to us with other 3rd party businesses so they can bring selected retail opportunities via direct mail, e-mail, SMS text messaging, telemarketing, pre-recorded messages, or automated attendant telemarketing."
Nice. I gave them one of my spam honeypot email addresses and the phone number for the Bad Breath Notification Hotline. I'm sure they're probably hawking a cure for halitosis, too.
Just filling out the form earns you the opportunity to receive calls from people selling magazines, debt reduction services, dubious health cures, low-rent insurance, and high interest loans.