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Avoiding Scams

AVOIDING SCAMS

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Sometimes, things can seem too good to be true, but even the legitimate offers can be lost in the clutter. Here are a few tips on how to avoid the scam offers


WHEN IT COMES TO CREDIT CARDS:
For freebies, sweepstakes, instant wins, giveaways, and samples, 
I DO NOT PROVIDE CREDIT CARD INFORMATION!
The only time that I have given credit card information is for online coupons, sales, and discount offers - which is something entirely different. You go into those offers knowing there will be something you have to pay. Do not offer credit card, debit card, or bank account information for a freebie, sweepstakes, instant win, giveaway, or sample.

Also, you may find freebie hunting Facebook groups (like our own) and have a good time conversing with other hunters and sharing tips. Sometimes however, there are people that will prey on people in those groups and message them with fake offers. 

IF ANYONE MESSAGES YOU ON ANY PLATFORM AND AT ANY POINT ASKS FOR YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION: BLOCK AND REPORT THEM

There are many legitimate Facebook giveaways and freebies where they may need to message you to ask for your address to send your prize. But they should NEVER ask for your credit card or any payment.


ASK QUESTIONS
> Does the site look blank? (And not a "new website" kind of blank)
> Does it seem as if this entire website exists for the sole purpose of offering you a single sample and doesn’t seem to serve any other function?
> Is it lacking basic navigation?
> Does the website launch lots of pop-ups?

> Is the link relevant to the company name? (see Pshing)
> Do you have to fill out a form before you can see the sample?
> Does the sample/freebie require you to make a purchase of "Silver, Platinum or Gold" (usually seen in "fine print" at the bottom of the screen)?
> Do you have to go through what seems to be a never ending survey?

These are points that could potentially raise red flags to a scam


UNDERSTAND PSHING
Pshing is a tool that scammers use to try and collect personal information from their prey (ie email address or home address) with the intention to sell said information to third party companies to use as spam mail and more. These are usually easy to spot if you remember to check your address bar. You will usually find that the link in your address bar is completely unrelated to the company that you think you are requesting a sample from. The site may look the exact same as the official website, with logos and all, but the link will not be the same.

When I notice these, I usually find my way to the official website of that brand/company to see if they do actually offer a link to request a sample. Or, when in all doubt, I just shoot them a quick email asking and informing them of the link that I came across. 


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