Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Free Email Offers for Camcorders

by Christina VanGinkel

In my email, just this morning, there were three offers to acquire my very own digital camcorder "Totally Free". I get at least four or five of these offers every single day. A while back, when I first started shopping for a new digital camcorder I decided to click on one of these links to see if by chance they were legitimate. Hey, with the Internet you never know. I once won four hundred and forty-four dollars from a site called 4everything, for doing nothing more than clicking on a link.

Well, my luck with the "Totally Free" camcorder was not as good as it was with the four hundred and forty-four dollars. The only thing I gained was a lot, and I mean a whole lot of junk mail! The first thing that happens when you click on one of these offers is it opens up a page that says you just need to accept three offers. Ok, not too bad, as some of them actually look like things I might be interested in. The problem with this is though, that the three things you must accept are not actually from these initial offers. They want you to accept three offers from another set of links for offers that will cost you money to accept, oftentimes, large amounts of money.

The sad part of all of this is that many people with Internet access at home, or at their local library, school, or work place, who happen to be on fixed budgets or limited incomes, will fall for these scams. Some people may disagree with me calling these scams, as I suppose there is a very small possibility that someone might get a camcorder sent to them, though I would hardly call it free. In my opinion, these offers fall easily under the heading of fraudulent.

Similar mailings offer everything from free still cameras, Sony Playstations, Xbox machines, even cookware. If the people who promote these think someone may be interested in a product, chances are they have created a mailing around it offering it in this manner.

I did click on a few of the initial links, then when it opened yet another page, about fifteen clicks in, asking me to then select several of their paid offers, I knew I had made the mistake of giving the company my name and email address on the first page I had linked to from my email. Even though I did not finalize the offer, I began getting an abundant amount of junk mail over the following days. Normally, I would expect to receive no more than twenty junk emails in a day, yet in the following days I received, and continue to receive hundreds of junk emails.

Unless you are in the market for email, I would recommend you pass on even clicking on these advertisements. They sound good, and if they were for real, they would be an excellent way to obtain merchandise. As they stand, they are an excellent way to waste time clicking through their "offers" and an even bigger waste of time deleting the ensuing junk mail and unsubscribing from the mailings that you open yourself to when you initially fill out the form on the very first page!

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