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Are the Free Laptop Offers Really Free?

Introduction
Free laptop, ipod, and other offers are often found on the internet. Most folks dismiss such offers as "too good to be true". After all, who can afford to give away a laptop computer? Are these offers a scam?

Are These Offers a Scam?
The answer to this question is "No, usually not". They are not a scam in that they do not promise you something and not deliver. Let's look at a screen shot of a typical offer below. This was one of the first offers returned in an internet search.

So the catch here is that you must complete "sponsored offers".  A fellow that actually completed an offer similar to this one was offered a free laptop for completing 6 sponsorship offers. He stated "This really does work. I spent about $100 for 1 bottle of health pills, and 1 month of Vonage LD service. I cancelled all other offers but I still have the Blockbuster online DVD service."

So the fellow is out a few hundred dollars, but through persistence and willingness to cancel services when possible, he obtained a laptop valued at around $600. Not exactly "free" but not a scam either.

How Does Mathematical Logic Enter Into All of This?
To make the offer both profitable and legitimate, the marketing agency made a promise of the form:

If you complete Offer 1 and Offer 2 and Offer 3 and Offer 4 and Offer 5 and Offer 6, Then we will send you your laptop.

If you complete only 5 of the 6 offers, yet receive no laptop, they have not violated their promise. In logic, an if-then statement is only false when the if-part is true and the then-part is false. Otherwise an if-then statement will always be true.  And a false if-then statement is the real-world equivalent of a scam.  But, if you do not complete the offers or fail to provide required documentation, then the if-part is false, which causes the entire promise to still be true!

Things To Consider
Note that there could be scammers posing as legitimate marketing firms.  So best to do your homework when deciding to complete such offers.  Also keep in mind that you will probably get bombarded with many other "free offers" once you submit your email address - so you probably want to use a "throw-away" email address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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