Can’t wait for AT&T? – Get an Apple iPhone 4 for Free!!


Those frustrated with the on-again-off-again order status conundrum surrounding the launch of the newest iPhone might be tempted to respond to a wave of spam promising free iPhones (see spam sample below).

There are multiple templates for the email but all lead to a website that seems to only need your email address.

At this point we would normally warn you about this sort of email address harvesting and remind you that Commtouch would have easily classified the email as spam.  However, we decided to follow the trail a wee bit further…

We used a site called that indexes affiliate programs, and did a search for “iPhone”.  See the screenshot below for the page describing this particular program.  An affiliate (in this case our spammer) will receive $1.35 every time someone follows one of the emails, arrives at the page shown above and enters their email (see the line for “Payout”).  This new customer is potentially very valuable as he/she is about to be exposed to multiple pages of additional affiliate advertising – all of them promising that the iPhone 4 is “just one more step away”.

Respondents who enter an email address and hit “continue” will be expected to fill in a detailed form in order to “claim their iPhone”.  There are then 12 (yes… 12) pages of “Step 2 – complete the survey”.  Each completion generates more affiliate revenue.  These are followed by 3 pages of “last steps” that require completion of multiple (at least 9) partner offers (more affiliate revenues).  Although we are very dedicated to probing the workings of spam and Internet marketing we decided we’d earned a coffee break – so we stopped at this point.  Guess we’ll have to wait for AT&T…

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