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My apologies for posting this Appleseed Raspberry Jam freebie yesterday, later in the day advertisements appeared on the website which linked the page to the Russian Fake Freebie / WebSEO Network of fake freebies (more info on each one here). In short, don’t expect anything to arrive in the mail and again my apologies for not catching it earlier. Read on to see why I think this is a fake and why you should avoid it or use a fake email to sign up if you really want to risk it. Here is the URL to follow along if you’d like: appleseedfood.com/free-samples/ or appleseedfood.com/free-food-samples/
9/20/19 Update: The scammer has opened new Google Ad accounts so the advertising ID’s match with his new freebie websites and not freesamplesmail. The scammer continues to launch fake freebies and websites. Appleseed and the Greek Olive Oil websites seems to be his most active of all the scam websites, just Google the fake freebies domain name and the word sample and you’ll see the primary focus on these websites are to produce sample forms and no actual business, nothing to actually sell or anything that makes any common sense for offering a free sample. An Apple Seed farm that doubles as an angel investor is offering free samples, seriously? Give me break. Use your head people.
6/7/18 Update: Scammer introduced another fake for Instant Orange Juice samples. Don’t fall for it, they sign you up for their email list now. Deceptive and may break CAN-SPAM laws now, too bad they are in Russia.
4/20/18 Update: This applies to ALL sample offers on the Appleseed Food website. It’s all fake, and it’s unclear what the Russian company does with your information. What is clear is that the samples NEVER arrive.
Why I think this one is fake:
- The domain was registered updated on 1-7-2018, the domain itself has been around for awhile, but this could mean the site was hacked or the real business expired and this clever fake freebie maker picked up the website to use for fake freebies.
- The imagery for the actual item is pretty easy to reverse engineer or find mock ups like it. And of course, you can’t buy the actual jam which defeats the purpose of a sampling program which is meant to drive sales after people sample the product.
- The actual terms and contact information look legit, but if you call the numbers they will lead to an answering machine or a disconnected line, never a good sign.
- Thankfully, I found no malicious code, I am not a security professional however so I might have missed something.
- Lastly, the main and most powerful reason is the advertising code on this website and how it’s 100% the same ID as all the other fake freebies hosted by the Russian freebie site freesamplesmail dot com. Avoid it. It won’t come, it simply funds someones or some organization’s fancy lifestyle in Russia. Here is a full list of all the fake freebies hosted by this same entity here.
As usual with fake freebies, avoid them! If you see them on other websites, do not sign up. If you signed up for this one, worst case is you’ll get some spam mail, spam email and perhaps some sketchy links from fake PayPal/Amazon/other websites. Don’t trust links that ask for your password or any personal information, ever. Thank you for reading my fake freebie rant. You can see other fake alerts or freebie updates here as well.
-John ‘Samples’ Clark
* Fake freebies are known to induce sadness and fear of being phished or hacked, avoid at all costs.