07 Dec 2015
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$1 for an iPhone? You're dreaming

By Shannon Williams

The release of a new iPhone can causes hysteria amongst tech lovers and consumers, with so many people wanting to get their hands on the smartphone. 

However, online advertisements promising cheap iPhones are now in the spotlight.

According to internet watchdog NetSafe, New Zealanders are questioning if advertisements offering the latest iPhone for a buck are too good to be true. 

The company says it has received several reports from Kiwis on the company behind the advertisements, Funky Clock. The ads appear on various websites and social media platforms. 

“iPhone scams have been popular before and people will often find pages popping up on Facebook with the simple pitch being you just have to like/comment or tag a friend to enter,” NetSafe says.

“In the case of Funky Clock it appears that the devil is in the detail,” it says.

“Hand over your personal information to one of many website operators and you’re not simply entering a competition but potentially subscribing to a gaming service that auto-renews each month,” the company explains.

According to NetSafe, the small print on one website reads: If members choose to sign up for a paid trial subscription, the trial period will automatically be renewed upon expiration unless the subscription is cancelled within the trial period.

Another site states: You pay $1.00 for a 3-day trial period and the possibility to receive a welcome bonus. After the trial period is over, your subscription starts. Here is the monthly subscription price in your currency: $139.00

“If you’re keen to get hold of a cheap iPhone, make sure you take five minutes to explore the legal terms and conditions,” NetSafe says.

“You could find the small prints suggests that people handing over credit card details and their personal information may be billed up to $139 NZD each month for a subscription service.”

The company says people should always be wary about handing over personal information to any form of prize winning offer (arriving by post, email or txt), or they could find they receive many more such offers in future too.

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