How to Win an iPad Without Being Scammed

iPad Scams Can Be Tricky Here's How to Avoid Then

office of a web design company
••• Kohei Hara / Getty Images

If you'd like to own a new iPad but can't justify running out and buying one on a whim, you're not alone. There are lots of people who would love to get their hands on a free iPad — which makes them a popular prize. However, that popularity has a dark side as well: Many scammers prey on that desire to con people out of their money. Here are tips on how to win an iPad without falling for scams.

You Can Safely Win Free iPads

Trying to win a free iPad is a lot of fun, and it could net you the tablet of your dreams. If you're new to entering sweepstakes, check out how to enter and win online sweepstakes for tips and advice.

Once you have the basics down, you need to find giveaways to enter. TheBalance's Free iPad Sweepstakes list is a good place to start. If you'd like even more chances to win, you can try setting up Google alerts for helpful phrases.

Google Alerts are free, and they send you an email whenever articles matching a specific phrase are detected by the Google search engine. For tips, see how to use Google alerts to win sweepstakes. Try using search terms like "iPad sweepstakes," "iPad contest," "win an iPad," and " iPad giveaway" to get the results you want.

If you want even more iPad sweepstakes to enter, you can visit these reputable sweepstakes directory sites to find even more giveaways.

5 Tips to Avoid Free iPad Scams

So how do you know if you've really won an iPad or if you're being scammed? Is there a way to tell whether an iPad giveaway is even safe to enter? Here are five things to watch out for:

1. Check for Hidden Catches Before You Enter

Before you submit any personal information in an entry form, be sure to read the fine print. If you're entering a contest or sweepstakes to win an iPad, make sure that the rules seem legitimate.

If there are no rules at all, that's a sign that the giveaway might not be trustworthy. 

2. Read the Privacy Policy

Before you hand over any personal information, check to make sure there's a good privacy policy in place. Check how the sponsoring company will use your information and be sure there's nothing that makes you uncomfortable before you sign up.

One important thing to look for is whether you'll be added to untrustworthy email lists or have your information widely shared with advertisers. 

3. Beware of "Too Good to Be True" Offers

Some iPad scams spin a story about why a large number of free tablets are being given away for free. For example, they might say there was a minor flaw in the manufacturing process that made them impossible to sell, so the company decided to give them away.

But it doesn't make sense that companies would give away such an expensive item to anyone that requests one. Many of these so-called "freebies" ask you to sign up for various offers, which can cost you money, expose you to identity fraud, or jeopardize your privacy. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into before you start.

4. Take Ads with a Grain of Salt

Some legitimate free iPad offers use advertisements to spread the word. Sadly, however, so do some iPad scams. When you see iPad giveaways in ads, make sure to be extra-cautious to be sure you have found a legitimate offer.

These ads often use hype to get people so excited that they won't look too closely at what they're getting into. Don't let blinking graphics and overblown promises override your common sense.

5. You Can't Win Sweepstakes You Don't Enter

A common iPad scam is an ad or email that claims that you have already won an iPad in a giveaway that you've never heard of before. Remember that one of the warning signs of sweepstakes scams is that you can't win sweepstakes you haven't entered. If any offer claims you've won before you have entered, you know that you are being scammed.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can try to win free iPads — or other electronics giveaways — without putting yourself or your sensitive information in jeopardy.