It seems innocent enough — an invitation to take an IQ test.
They are advertised on Facebook, in Yahoo!, and on other sites. Sometimes they even make you think that friends have already taken the test, and you are being challenged to beat them. Other times you may get pop-ups saying that other people in your town have taken the test (they use your IP address to figure out your location).
If you click on the ad, you might be taken to a webpage that looks like this:
There are ten questions to the test, and at the end you are asked to enter your cell phone number so the results can be texted to you. At worst, you might think that you will be charged 10 or 20 cents for receiving a text message.
What you don’t see when you take the test is a hidden footnote.
Translation: By filling in your cell number and entering your PIN number, you are agreeing to a MONTHLY $9.99 charge for who knows what.
What makes this offer so deceptive, is the manner in which the disclosure is made. It is not merely a footnote. It is hidden on the page. You think you are looking at the entire IQ test screen when taking the test because of all the blank space below the test box. There is no disclosure visible. In fact you have to scroll down beyond the blank space to find the disclaimer. See sample (but don’t click).
Don’t fall for a scam like this.