- Most of these sites collect links from other companies and organizations. Do notassume that all of the deals listed on a site are from trustworthy sources.
Make an email account to sign up for offers. Unless you want to deal with thousands of spam emails, create a free email account to use only for free sample signups. You may still need to check this account occasionally to confirm free sample shipments, which is why you should enter a real email address, but this step will make the influx of advertisements much easier to deal with.
Learn to identify false offers. Think about the offer from the company’s point of view, and you might quickly figure out that it can’t be real. Legitimate companies give out small samples only so you’ll buy more later, or recommend them to friends. A “guaranteed” iPad, car, or other expensive item – or even a lottery ticket with a chance of winning one – is likely to be a scam, trying to get your personal information for spam or identity theft purposes.
Be cautious when entering personal information. Websites offering for a free sample often ask for a lot of information, as they want to be able to send you advertisements or even attempt identity theft. The only information a company needs to put a sample in your mailbox is your name and address. If it asks for your phone number, consider entering an old one you no longer check. You may use a real one so the company can contact you in case of shipping problems, but be prepared to receive many offers from the company, or even more dangerous spam and phishing attacks.
- Never enter your credit card information, social security number, bank account information, or other information that compromises your security. The risk of identity theft is not worth the free sample.