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      BBB issues warning about possible iPad scams

      It TMs already making waves in the world of technology. The iPad is being touted as the hottest new device to hit the market, with Apple saying it sold more than 300,000 units on its first day alone. But the Better Business Bureau has released a warning telling people to beware of scammers trying to take advantage of you.

      The BBB suggests consumers steer clear of offers to become a 'tester'. They also want you to stay away from so-called Try It claims, which promise to get you an iPad for free.

      The BBB says anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is. They suggest you avoid spam emails like the one linking you to the website www.testitandkeepit.com , which asks you to test the iPad. And in return, it claims, you TMll get to keep it.

      Not all scammers will ask you to become a tester. Others offer free iPads. The catch is they want you to buy something first or they ask for your credit card number or other personal information, which should always be a red flag.

      The bottom line is, you should watch out for anything that seems fishy. Buy your iPad through an authorized retailer or directly from Apple to avoid becoming the victim of a scam.

      More information from the Better Business Bureau:

      The iPad has been released to the public but beware - scammers are busy devising ways to take advantage of eager shoppers. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to stay away from offers to become a tester or other try it claims to get a free iPad.

      Apple TMs release over the weekend claims hundreds of thousands have been sold already and may even exceed half a million customers when including those who pre-ordered in March for the April release. Because Apple bumped the delivery date for some orders, rumors started circulating that the company did not have enough iPads to meet pre-order demand.

      Scammers love mass enthusiasm and it was inevitable that scammers would try to take advantage of the iPad excitement to rip people off, just like they did with the iPod and the iPhone, said David Polino, Better Business Bureau President. Bogus offers claim you can become a tester or researcher and get an iPad for free. This is a deal that sounds, and definitely is, too good to be true.

      Tech Web site GeekSugar.com warned about spam e-mails requesting product testers for the iPad. The e-mail directs to the Web site Testitandkeepit.com which claims that they are looking for people to test the iPad for a couple months, as compensation you get to keep the iPad. The red flag with this offer is that you have to provide your e-mail address and password in order to tell your friends.

      Offers to become a tester on Facebook cropped up but with a different intent. A Facebook page stating iPad Researchers Wanted"Get an iPad Early and Keep It was designed to trick people into signing up for a cell phone subscription service that cost $10 a month. Sophos, a software company, explained the offer in an online video and also alerted Facebook to the page"which had already racked up more than 3,500 fans"and it was taken down. BBB warns Facebook users to be on the lookout for similar suspicious offers.

      Not all bogus offers come under the guise of becoming a tester. McAfee reported that spam e-mails have landed in consumer inboxes offering free iPads"with a catch. Consumers would have to buy something first which would require providing your credit card number. If you give away personal financial information, your i TMs should be dotted and t TMs crossed, added Polino. Online security is critical at all times and especially when you TMre trying to find a deal. It is imperative to be certain you can trust the seller and the web site.

      The BBB recommends that consumers shop for the iPad through an authorized retailer or directly with Apple. Eventually a secondary market for the iPad will spring up online on sites like Craigslist. If you plan on buying an iPad secondhand, try to purchase it from someone local and never wire money as payment.

      For more advice on how to be a smart online shopper, visit www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-technology.

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