BBB Says: "Anything With 'Gas' And 'Deal' Should Set Off Alarm Bells"

The BBB says the consumers should be wary of advertisements claiming to offer cheap gas for visiting a website. Paying $2.49 a gallon just for “clicking” sounds too good to be true– and it probably is.

The Arizona Daily Star explains:

But there is a catch to the radio gas deal — isn’t there always? — as visitors to the site are required to provide a load of personal information.

This is followed by a seemingly endless barrage of surveys until finally visitors get the “opportunity” to apply for high-interest credit cards or to purchase book and coffee club memberships or entertainment books.
Essentially, if a person buys one of these products he or she is eligible for a gas card that will cover the difference between the actual cost of gas and $2.49 a gallon for 15 gallons. So, with gas prices hovering at $3.80 a gallon, a person would in theory get a gas card for $20.

So is it a scam?

“We are not saying that is a scam, but we would urge consumers to use extreme caution,” a BBB spokesperson said.

Here’s a link to the company’s BBB report.

She also went on to say consumers should be wary of any combination of the words “deal” and “gas.” Good advice.

Gas-card ‘deal’ on radio may be no deal at all [Daily Star]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Zeniq says:

    When will people get the hint that usually, things that sound too good to be true, are?

  2. sir_pantsalot says:

    So if someone asks me if I want a deal on gas then I should pull their finger I should be wary?

  3. samurailynn says:

    @sir_pantsalot: You should be especially wary of these kinds of deals – even more so if they are coming from your grandfather, or an uncle.

  4. B says:

    What do you mean it’s a scam? The Nigerian prince who sent me the email about it sounded so forthright. His English was a little garbled, but still, I can’t believe this isn’t on the level.

  5. Whew. I feel better now. I didn’t just “click”. I had to give over my bank account numbers, SSN, my address, and my Mother’s maiden name. So this means I will get the great deal, right?

  6. chrisjames says:

    Anything With ‘Deal’ Should Set Off Alarm Bells:

    Seriously, you think people give stuff away for free? There’s always a catch, and the sweeter the deal, the bigger the catch. Every damn time.

  7. SexierThanJesus says:

    If I can’t trust the guy trying to sell me penis enlargement pills and cheap gas, who can I trust?

  8. ltlbbynthn says:

    The worst part is we think $2.49 gas is a “deal”

  9. SahuaritaSam says:

    I love seeing the Arizona Daily Star on the Consumerist!

  10. emona says:

    “We are not saying that is a scam, but we would urge consumers to use extreme caution,” a BBB spokesperson said.

    Fine, I’ll say it. IT IS A SCAM.

  11. Snarkysnake says:

    Use your head,people. Gas costs $3.88 cents a gallon (today-near my house). Nobody is going to sell it to you for less than they can get for it on the open market. I swear, people will fall for just about anything if they see it on the internet…

  12. “Too good to be true”.

    No Sheeit.

  13. @Snarkysnake:

    Also common in PT’s days.

    Actually one of the oldest professions is a scam artist….. I can give ya a good deal on some blocks for your pyramid.

  14. Julia789 says:

    I’m in Connecticut, near NY. I’m paying $4.65 a gallon. Due to zone pricing my city and the three surrounding cities are extremely high. But it doesn’t make sense to drive 40 miles to get something cheaper. I’d use up the difference in savings just driving there.

    Luckily my commute is not as bad as most people I know.

  15. Nick_Bentley says:

    It’s the same as those free laptop ads, any business cannot run a deal like that without a maze of things you have to do to make them more money than the thing they are giving away or discounting. It’s similar with the amount of search for gas saving products. It’s just human nature to seek out something like this, and I’m sure they are suckering a lot of people over it, they are sitting ducks for offers like this.

  16. Haltingpoint says:

    @Nick_Bentley: Great point. Rather than just say “scam” and get incensed, I wish more people would discuss what is actually going on behind these offers.

    In this instance, it looks like the site is utilizing a variety of affiliate programs which pay them a modest amount (usually a couple bucks) per survey that requires personal information. They also get paid commissions when you sign up for any of the products/services such as the credit card. These pay substantially more.

    These are known as “incentivized” offers in the affiliate marketing circle because you “incent” the user to sign-up for things they may not really want/need by offering them a reward (in this case the gift card).

    While the value doesn’t look tremendous here…if you don’t mind giving up your personal info and can find a use for any of the requisite services, this may be worth it to you. However for 99.9% of people it will not be and just lines the affiliates pockets. In fact I’m willing to bet they even get paid (probably no more than .50 or so) for the first page zip-submit.