What's the gimmick in this free laptop offer?

Here’s the header:

Return-Path: <return-path-tygerbryght****.com@strangeinternetnews.com>
Received: from (HELO lozasogalidos.host-123-223.guper.com) ( by mta146.mail.sc5.yahoo.com with SMTP; Thu, 05 Aug 2004 06:57:11 -0700
Message-Id: <1710969381659.1493595802281.47125.msgid4@reducedpromotion.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2004 06:59:45 -0700
From: “Incentive Program” <norrisnetolicky@sibaxunetethawiworu.reducedpromotion.com> Add to Address Book
Subject: -Need a Laptop? Get a Dell Notebook Free!

Ooops! I hit some key that loaded it. :smack:

There is no non-html text in the body of the message, and I quite deliberately keep my email set so that it doesn’t display it (for what I take to be obvious reasons). :slight_smile: I suppose I could turn the html on temporarily, but I’d rather not.

You haven’t given us a lot to work on here, but it looks like plain ol’ spam - there may not actually BE any laptops, free or otherwise; it could just be a ploy to get you to click on some entirely unrelated link or even just to confirm that your mailbox is active (so they can send you more yummy spam).

looks like you should try re*ucedpromotion.com to see what you find.

I tried that; there’s no home page for that URL, but a google search on the domain name brings up a long list of spam-related results; emails from (or purporting to be from) reducedpromotion.com would seem highly likely to be spam.

I kinda thought so, but it’s a rather different “offer” from the cheap mortgages and cheap alleged pharmaceuticals that most current spam (or at least what I get) shows as a subject.

I mean, I didn’t really think it was an offer of a free laptop. Just because they say that in the subject doesn’t mean it’s true, after all. :rolleyes:

I guess what I was hoping was that someone else would have received this email, and would know more about it. Like maybe what kind of scam this spam is. :slight_smile:

Oh, well … thanks, guys
tyger the :wally

I received this spam and curious I entered the application process looked at the hard to read “user agreement” which is several full pages of legal text sandwiched into a little bitty scroll window about 1 inch high and 3 inches wide at the bottom of the agreement.
The upshot is that they’re not promising you a Dell or anything else to review. You’re agreeing to let them spam you and sell your address to other advertisers. The user agreement is fairly blatant about this.

Here’s essentially what you are agreeing to.

Thanks ever so much for providing this. I read the first couple of paragraphs, then I skimmed, then I gave up. :eek: It looks to me like they’re hoping anyone who actually responds will be so snowed by the terms that they won’t know what they’re getting themselves into.

Given the way I encountered it, I was sure it couldn’t possibly be anything remotely like a real chance to get a name-brand laptop. And I was so right!

But I always like to know these things! A weakness, I know. <sigh>

Well, it seems to me that you’re selling all of your information in order to sample 3 products. So I guess you could go create a hotmail account and sign up with that, and hope it’s not three different brands of chewing gum :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s an interesting section:

It appears that you have to patronize their advertisers in order to gather these six “advertiser action points”

It also appears that you must have some commitment with the advertiser for the points (as the section on credit card offers indicates).

In addition, once you get all of your points, you have to download their special form, fill it out, and mail it in. No, they aren’t going to allow you to use a handy, convenient web page to do this; they want it to be as annoying as possible.

It’s quite likely that you could get a laptop from them after you jump through the hoops, but you would pay dearly for it, both in spam, telemarketing, and in whatever offers you have to respond to in order to gather your points.

No it’s not likely. They are explicitly claiming no obligation to send you a specific, pre-identified item for “review”, no matter how many hoops you jump through. If you do apply to be a reviewer they could send you a roll of Lifesavers if they wanted to. Amusingly, they are also claiming no affiliation whatsoever with the manufacturers of the products that so desperately need “reviewing”.

It’s just a deceitful spam engine.

I’m inclined to believe you since it reeks so highly of slimy spammers.

Nevertheless, certain parts of this make me think that they might just string along hapless victims for a long time, doling out the occasional trinket in order for the victim to continue patronizing their advertisers.

Why would they even bother with the huge mess of legal prose if they were simply gathering spam data? I can’t imagine that all of the scummiest of spammers even bother with such niceties.

Likewise, why make those veiled references to the fact that you won’t get your trinket unless you get into bed with their advertisers?

It seems that they are going to dangle the toy in front of your eyes while you get yourself far more involved in their advertiser’s offers than you would ever imagine doing on your own. In the end, an out-of-date factory refurbished machine might be sent to you, or it might not…

Anyway, I have seen free laptop offers before from more legitimate sources (e.g. from a credit card or a utility company), and I always figured that you really would get the machine, but your obligations with the company that provided it would be long lasting and tedious.

I ran across an offer for a free “X-Box” prepaid shipping an all.

Followed link to second page to fill out shipping info and came to conclusion that I had not use for an X-Box. Closed window and forgot it.

Isn’t X-Box an also ran product. Not too many games for or hard to get. Just a way to clear the stock room and sell out the games.

As an English major by design and a writer by trade, I don’t even know where to begin here.

However, no, the Xbox (no hyphen) isn’t an also-ran. It doesn’t hold as much market share as the Playstation, but it’s hardly a Dreamcast or Atari Jaguar.