The mobile phone industry has grown exponentially over the past two decades, and this has paved the way for more innovative technologies to be developed to keep pace with the demands of users. Having a cellular phone nowadays doesn’t just give you the power to send text messages and make calls on the go.

Technology has made it possible for users to record and watch videos, log into the internet, play music, create emails, read e-books, shop for clothes and do a whole lot of other functions all at the same time. Indeed, the little mobile device has become such an integral part of everyday modern life that it is rare to find anyone who does not carry a mobile phone or two in his pocket.

Enter the iPhone

With the introduction of Apple’s iPhone a couple of years ago, the smartphone era was born and mobile devices have become even more popular and indispensable for people who want to juggle a lot of activities as they travel from place to place.

The iPhone is probably the most raved about mobile device today, with unit sales continuously rising as Apple continues to develop the technology behind it. Packed with capabilities for fun, entertainment and business, the iPhone can be customized by the user to suit his lifestyle and needs.

iPhone for free?

However, this hot new gadget iPhone comes at a considerable cost. With its potential to become man’s next most trusted gadget, thousands of people are saving up money to buy their own iPhone. And if you can’t afford an iPhone right now, you might be tempted to look for ways to get your hands on an iPhone at a discounted price. And if you can get an iPhone for free, wouldn’t that be even better?

Just like other merchandise being sold over the internet, there are some unscrupulous groups and individuals that capitalize on people’s desires to buy their coveted items at very low or zero cost. Online stores like and are just some of the sites where spammers and scammers alike are preying upon innocent individuals whose only wish is to buy an iPhone of their own and benefit from its many capabilities.

Don’t be a victim

There are different ways by which these criminal groups are able to derive profit from online iPhone scams, but they fall into three basic categories:

* Selling fake or reconditioned iPhones online
* Setting up elaborate advertisements that generate income with every click
* Identity theft in social networking sites

Several social networking sites have also turned infected with iPhone scams. The profile pages of users are automatically updated with sales lines like “I received my free iPhone today, if anyone else wants to try out the promo, click here”. These updates are posted by rogue applications that access the account holders’ personal information and make it sound like he really won a free iPhone.

The link earns a commission for the group running the scam—imagine how many people click on these links everyday in hopes of getting an iPhone without shelling out a single cent. If you see these updates on a friend’s wall, don’t ‘like’ or ‘share’ it immediately without verifying the truth behind it.

There are some legitimate promos online that do offer iPhones and other gadgets at slashed prices or even for free, but they are few and far between. If you have come across an advertisement or email that promises you a free iPhone by following simple steps, be warned. You might waste your time, money and effort and still not be able to see the iPhone delivered to your door.

If you are planning to buy an iPhone online, you have to be extra careful about the online store’s legitimacy and ability to deliver their products on time and with the correct pricing. The Apple store carries iPhones, so you can purchase direct from Apple and rest assured that your gadget will be exactly what you paid for.

An iPhone’s price also has something to do with whether or not it’s the real deal. Fake phones are usually half the price of the original ones, but of course you don’t get the same functionality and length of use. The specs can also be very different from that of the true iPhone, so even if you pay for so much less, you’re also bound to get very little satisfaction from the product. One of the most notable specs that can serve as a red flag for you is the supposed expandable memory of the gadget. True iPhones don’t have that, so you know right away that you are just being conned.

This article is contributed by Ally.