Free offers from apple.ie.brgiveaway or similar – beware!
A deviation from our normal course, but just to let you know that if you receive a mobile text (or email) offering a free gift from http://www.apple.ie.brgiveaway.info, or any variation where ‘apple.ie’ is a sub-domain, it’s NOT associated with Apple.
The genuine Apple Ireland URL is http://www.apple.com/ie/
We received such a text (unsolicited) this morning, and delving deeper this is what we found:
1. The domain is owned by a private registrant in Arizona, US (http://www.whois.com/whois/brgiveaway.info)
2. The URL (http://www.apple.ie.brgiveaway.info) does not appear to have any malware according to the AVG checker (http://www.avgthreatlabs.com/sitereports/)
3. Having confirmed it ‘safe’ to visit, I went over to the URL and was presented with a landing page at ziinga.com. You are asked to enter your name and email address, and it’s assumed you accept their terms and conditions unless you indicate otherwise. STOP! You’re about to get caught!
Ziinga.com is a penny auction site, owned by a company called Nio Inc, and the nasty bits are in the small print. You are encouraged to register in order to bid for what looks like bargains, but the site owners want a lot in return:
- A monthly membership subscription!
- Scanned copy of Credit Card (front and back)
- Scanned copy of valid ID (passport or driver’s license)
- Scanned copy of signed credit card form
Here’s a further example of what appears in their Ts & Cs:
“Customers of Ziinga.com who have an overdue balance or owe the website money in charges for items, membership or other fees must settle the debt in a timely manner or risk having their case handed over to a debt collector. In the event that a debt collector is involved, the overdue balance must be settled directly with the debt collector.
Accounts that do not settle overdue balances or unduly chargebacks within the allotted time, whereby allotted time is determined on a case-to-case basis, may be blacklisted and may also incur further fees. Any and all fees will be paid by the member. A fee of € 500,00 will apply per unduly chargeback.”
Any doubts, read the article at reviewopedia and the comments by users who’ve had experience of Ziinga, and you’ll get the picture.
They seem to be targeting the Irish market at present and we thought we’d put it up here in the hope that it’s helpful to anyone who reads it.