Popularity of iPad has scammers pouncing

(WWBT/WMBF) - The Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers to stay away from free iPad offers.

Apple announced the iPad in January, and customers were able to pre-order in March for the April release. But Apple bumped the delivery date for late orders and rumors started claiming the company did not have enough iPads to meet the pre-order demand.

That's when scammers pounced, taking aim at excited Apple lovers. Offers are tailored to take advantage of your desires.

The McAfee computer security company says some spam emails are offering free iPads in exchange for purchases made through credit cards. Other offers claim you can become a tester or researcher and get a device for free - a deal the Better Business Bureau says is too good to be true.

"It's always a bad thing when somebody wants you to pay to be able to test a product out," said the BBB's Tom Gallagher. "The second thing, it simply doesn't make sense to think that on the introduction of a highly trumpeted product installation there are going to be independent tests run in this manner. It just simply doesn't work that way."

Tech website geeksugar.com has a similar warning about emails that direct you to other sites that claim to be looking for people to test the iPad for a couple of months. And as compensation, you supposedly get to keep it.

To protect yourself from getting scammed:

  • Be concerned if the offer asks for your e-mail address and password, in order to tell your friends.
  • If you plan to purchase an iPad, shop through an authorized retailer or directly with Apple.
  • If you're getting one second hand, buy it from someone local. Never wire money as payment.

Copyright 2010 Raycom Media. All rights reserved.