The classic free $20 American Spirit gift certificate used to arrive via physical mailers. They're about to discontinue them in 2020, but you won't miss out. Their new freebie system is going digital! It's like discovering a brilliant TV show during its third season. The only difference is one kills you through lung cancer and the other though heart disease. Tomatoes, tamatoes!
Here's how to get your free American Spirit gift certificates.
Log in with your free account. If you need to make an account, American Spirit is legally required by federal law to confirm your identity as an adult 18 years or older. They must do this to keep children out, so they ask for your last 4 digits of your social security number.
If you take a short survey about your cell phone habits, you can get a free Harvard Business Review magazine subscription. I've never read an issue of this before, but it's described as a magazine for “business leaders” and a subscription costs $80 on Amazon!
I'm not much of a leader though. I can't even get my family to follow me in going caroling. They keep using the same tired, old excuses of “we can't sing” and “it's too cold” or “hey, Goob's had enough eggnog, let's throw him in the snow and see how long he can last.”
Apparently there are these ancient relics published on a daily basis called nerspeppers – am I saying that right? Nooselabors? Nudeslayers? Oh, newspapers, gotcha – and one fine establishment in Los Angeles is offering a free download for Pixar's Up soundtrack by using the code latimesdisney before midnight tonight. The entire download consists of 23 songs and runs just under 50 minutes of play time.
It's not quite like watching the movie, but it's the next best thing. Track number nine is even called “Kevin Beak'n.” Heh heh heh, oh my, I love a good pun. In fact, my favorite SQUIRREL!
From December 2nd through the 24th, Whataburger is giving away free coupons every other day. In order to get them, simply sign up in advance and you'll get a random coupon e-mailed to you each day they're released. Speaking of food, I think it's time to head back to the fridge. Twelfth round of Thanksgiving leftovers, here I come!
I love how the authors of Freakonomics call their free signed sticker a “free bookplate.” Am I the only person who's never heard of that word before? If I had to guess what it meant, sticker would be #745. I think we all know what number one would be.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to eat some lunch. Where's my copy of 1984?
I come across dozens of fake freebies every day. 99.99% of them quickly die, but like a crazy ex, some hang around and simply refuse to go away. Case in point, the “free Snuggie” offer that popped up in October. I still get an e-mail or two each day suggesting I post it, and while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, there's no way it's coming.
However, I thought I could use it to show how I vet freebies when I'm unable to contact the freebie company directly. So if you're interested in learning more about the process as well as following along while I hunt down who exactly is behind this spreebie (I just made that word up), then please read along. Warning, it's fairly lengthy.
First, what's up with their domain? Suzzly.com? Why isn't this on GetSnuggie.com, which is the Snuggie's official site? Furthermore, Suzzly's WhoIs info is hidden, which is the #1 sign of a freebie spam site. WhoIs is publicly available info on who owns a domain, kind of like a phone book for websites. For a fee, the info can be privatized, but I can't think of any company that does so. Instead, they put their office mailing address and a public 800 number so that their customers can reach them. A spammer, however, is most likely operating out of his/her/its home and doesn't want their info available, for obvious reasons.
Second, the signup page is an iframe, which is pulling from a second domain, SuzzlyPromo.com. An iframe is an old-school technique that in a sense is like a window on a website. It allows a webmaster to load part of a page from Site A and another part from Site B – usually this indicates they only own one of the sites. HIF's Coupons.com page is an example. The banner should look familiar – it's part of HIF! However, the coupons load in an iframe below. I don't manually own or update that section, Coupons Inc. does. It's a handy technique for many websites, however a legit company has little use for it. If they were offering a freebie of their own product, they could simply host the signup form on their own site.
Now let's get back to Whois info again. SuzzlyPromo not only has private info, but it was registered on Oct. 19, 2009. If hidden info is the #1 sign of freebie spam, a site registered hours before the freebie offer became available is #2. Spammers work in bulk and domains cost $10 a year ($20 if they privatize their info). Typically, a freebie spammer will set up a very basic site with a signup form and collect as many submissions as possible. However, before the year is up, folks like myself ID the site as spam and thus people stop signing up. The spammer will then simply delete the domain after a year and start the process all over again with a new domain and spreebie. If I see a site that was registered in late 2009 (or whatever the current date is), it's cause for further examination.
By now, I would have moved on to the next freebie since it's clear to me that this isn't legit, but let's keep digging. We submit our info, reach the confirmation page, and…Google Ads? Quick, name a large company that both (A) Gives away freebies and (B) Has Google Ads on their site. BZZZZZ, time's up. I notice that collectively we came up with zero examples. Now, Google Ads aren't evil or spamish at all, but they're used by smaller sites like HIF, not companies giving away freebies. Furthermore, check out the footer links on the confirmation page. They all go to a third domain, Spooluff.com. That domain doesn't even have a main site and two of the four links (Shipping & Contact) go to dead pages! The owner of Spooluff isn't a company, but some some random guy named Joshua Comeau, who lists his address as 96 St. Patrick, Toronto Canada, his e-mail as [email protected], and his phone number as 647-833-9673. Oh, and the domain was registered on October 9, 2009. How lovely.
Gaweb.com is a spamish directory (surprise!), the phone number plays a recorded “this number is not assigned to anybody” message when you call, and Google says the address is home to the Toronto Standard Condo Corporation, which certainly (although not definitively) looks like a residential complex. Furthermore, a Google search of “Joshua Comeau Toronto” pulls up this discussion from almost four years ago where a person by the same name in Canada was running freebie spam sites. I know, I'm shocked!*
Finally, if you call the phone number (206-337-7752) that's on Suzzly's site (and in the confirmation e-mail), you'll get a recorded message and then be given a prompt to hit # for more options. This is followed by “to enter your K7 security code, press 4” which means they're using K7.net, a free voicemail and fax system. Now come on. This supposedly legitimate company has the financial resources to give away tens of thousands of Snuggies (which retail for what, $10-$15 each?) but they can't afford anything more than a free telephone service for their clients? (edit: The number now plays a recorded message saying Suzzly.com is a spam site and that their snuggie offer is not legit! It looks like K7 received a few complains 🙂 )
Now if you signed up for this, don't fret. No creeper will show up at your doorstep. You'll most likely start receiving more spam e-mail soon (which is why we suggest using a separate e-mail account for freebies instead of your personal or work e-mail!) and at the very worst, a few extra telemarketers will start calling. It doesn't ask for credit card or banking info, so you won't be out any money.
But this is what I get paid to do (apologies to my college History degree!) and perhaps this post has not only helped show how I judge freebies, but will maybe nudge this damned snuggie offer closer to the grave. The fewer sites harvesting our info, the better!
*I decided to keep following the Joshua Comeau trial, for my own personal enjoyment. The same Google search above brought up a message board profile for a JoshuaV, which lists his job as “affiliate marketer” and his location as Toronto. It also lists [email protected] as his e-mail, which when searched on social media sites, brings up Josh Volsh (Facebook), Josh (Myspace), and Joshua C (MSN Live). If I search for his new Josh Volsh name, more results pop up of him linking and advertising evenmorespam sites that I recognize from the past.
I contacted him via e-mail, asking if he would like to comment on this post, but so far I've yet to receive a response. I can't prove anything definitively that he's behind some of these spam offers, but there's enough circumstantial evidence here for me to never post anything he's associated with. If you happen to have any contact info for Josh, please join us on the forums and chime in. I really would love to talk to him…
Remember the free tomato seeds from Campbell's that we posted back in March? Well the offer is still available! Hopefully by now your tomato plant is full of delicious fresh produce, but if you missed the initial offer, feel free to sign up now and try your luck.
In order to get the seeds, you have to vote for which barn you'd like to save. Campbell's will donate up to $250,000 and each vote is worth $1, so you'll not only be getting a freebie, but helping a charity. After voting, you'll need to enter a code off the bottom of your Campbell's soup can. In case you don't have any in the cupboard, here are a few previous codes that worked last time around.
This free energy conservation starter kitfrom the Tennessee Valley Authority is only available to parts in the Southeast, such as AL, GA, KY, MS, NC, TN, and VA. However, I'm posting it because it comes with two compact fluorescent light bulbs, outlet and light switch gaskets, filter whistle, two faucet aerators, hot water temperature gauge, home thermometer, and a “How to Save” brochure.
I have no idea what a faucet aerator or switch gasket is, but they sound cool. At the very least, I'm sure they could help me with my time machine. So far I've built the core unit and perfected making the “BZZZZZZZZZ … KERPHEW!” sound with my mouth. I just hope time travel actually sounds like that. Otherwise, I'm just some doofus making a weird noise in a large metal box!
People, we must act quickly. This free Rainforest Alliance sticker can only mean one thing: Rainforests worldwide have joined into a powerful federation and they're out to get us! Gone are the days of liberally razing any timber in our paths. Instead, we now need to keep a vigilant watch for any tenacious trees bent on revenge. I don't know about you, but I've been attacked by a tree or two in my days and it's no fun!
Too bad QuikTrip convenience stores are only located in the Midwest, away from where I live, because they have a free food coupon available at Coupons.com. The coupon is for a free deli sandwich, wrap, or salad – no purchase necessary! The coupon won't show up unless you have a QuikTrip in your zip code, but some zips I tried made the coupon show up, such as: 85031, 63010, 66109, 30106, and 30339.
Some coupons expires on 10/21 and others on 10/25, but either way you'll need to make a quick trip to use it! Haha, get it? Hello? Is this thing on?
If you're a fan of good music, then be sure to check out Amazon's free classical song database. They have over 6,000 free classical music songs available to download.
I used to get bored listening to classical music as a kid, but my tune changed once I created a game where I got one point for each movie or TV show I could think of that used whatever song I was listening to. Between this and my favorite streaming radio station, I haven't heard the same song in years!