Mar 092005
Authors: Dominic Graziano

We've all seen it, maybe on a Web site or maybe through an e-mail sent to us by a friend. If you are one of the many people to believe this free offer is legitimate, I can sympathize.

I, too, was naive; I thought that I could get an iPod without paying for it.

But, as the homage goes, "there's no such thing as a free (insert item here)." There's always a catch to anything that you may think comes free. In the case of, the catch is quite a lengthy one. According to the Web site, all you need to do is participate in one free offer, invite "at least five other people" to do the same, and then sit back and reap the rewards.

The offers on the Web site include Blockbuster Online trials, a platinum credit card specifically for college students or an enthralling 30-day trial on

Nearly every Web site you go to these days has an advertisement for some sort of "free this" or "free that." If it isn't a crazy advertisement, it's a zany pop-up.

Everyone hates pop-ups, unless of course it is a tasty breakfast treat with strawberry filling and white frosting with sprinkles. Oh wait, that's pop-tarts, but I digress.

People who are unfortunate enough to find their way to this Web site have gone through the following:

1. They see that the only thing they need to do is to put in their e-mail.

2. They see they need to sign up their so-called "friends."

3. They go running across the room/library/hall/parking lot to the next person they see and ask, "Do you want a free iPod?"

4. The cycle continues with the next ill-fated soul.

I will be the first to say I am sick and tired of people asking me to sign my soul/e-mail away to The deal doesn't work; even if you were to have 1,000 people sign up for the most expensive deal offered on the Web site, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SEND YOU A FREE I-POD.

I know at least a dozen different people who have gone through this pyramid scheme only to find out that they have signed up for countless mailing lists and cursed their friends and loved ones to do the same.

Do yourself a favor. Save the people you know from junk mail. Stop world hunger. Two of these things apply to not signing up at I'm sure I don't need to tell you which two, but I will say isn't sending food to any third-world countries any time soon.

Dominic Graziano is a freshman open-option seeking technical journalism. He is an entertainment reporter for the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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