iScam: Don't click that Facebook iPhone ad!

If you own a television, read newspapers or Internet machines, listen to the radio or are ever in close proximity to earnest Apple nerds, then you know about the forthcoming new 3G iPhone.

I would buy one now if I could. And if they would let me buy one now, I would promise not to kick Steve Jobs in the balls for boning the early adopter yet again.

Perhaps this makes me a sucker. But as the saying goes, there's an early iPhone adopter born every minute. Time put it this way:

The Apple brand is synonymous with style—that's why so many people were willing to pay $599 for the iPhone a year ago, knowing full well that they were little more than beta-testing a pokey 2G device that, in many ways, was obsolete the moment it went on sale. It was easier to rationalize if you told yourself you weren't buying a gadget—you were buying art!

Yes. That's right. I am an artist, I told myself the other day, crying silent tears over my unjust two week wait for the new yuppie gadget. To cement my 'Net age hipster douchebag cred, I logged into Facebook.

Since nothing says art like gold plating, my iPhone aficionado eyes were drawn like a trout's to this shiny object:

Win a gold iPhone! the advertisement screamed at me. All you have to do is answer 10 trivia questions! And then you'll look like how ODB would look if where younger, pastier, had no grill and were alive. With an overpriced phone.

Now, this trivia "contest" is obviously a scam. All of these promotions are. But I'm glad I clicked the link out of curiosity, because what a scam it is. This is the verbatim disclaimer that appears beneath the contest rules.

iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Apple is not a sponsor of, nor a partner in this promotion. Gold iPhone Trivia service has a signup fee of $9.99, billed by premium SMS to your mobile phone number. Subscription. Weekly products menu charged @ $9.99. The Trivia game includes 10 multiple choice trivia questions, each of which must be answered correctly to proceed. Questions are delivered to your mobile phone by premium SMS at a cost of up to $1.99 per question and answer pair. Additional hints may be delivered in case of an incorrect answer. Participants answering all ten questions correctly are sent the Tiebreaker question. Answers will be logged into our database and the fastest correct answer will be identified. The fastest correct response to the Tiebreaker question is eligible to win the Gold iPhone prize. Speed of answer is calculated as the difference between the time-date stamp of the Tiebreaker question message sent to the handset and the time-date stamp of the response message. The prize is dependent on a minimum of 100 players, identified as unique mobile numbers, playing the Trivia quiz game, where playing is defined as receiving at least one Trivia quiz question. It will only be awarded if this participation level is met. Prize winner will be notified by SMS and provided with a verification code and instructions on how to claim the prize. The prize must be claimed within 30 days of the SMS notification message, or it is forfeited. If more than one person claims the prize, claimants will be required to prove possession of the mobile phone with the fastest correct response time before the prize is awarded. Trivia quiz game run by mBill. Subscribers and players consent to receive occasional promotional messages. To cancel reply STOP to the relevant service at any time. For help call 888 50 62455.

Also, do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Despite my love of all things trivia and all things iPhone, I guess I'll have to beg off. Besides, gold iPhones are for ballin' on a budget. Real players rock the white gold with diamond-encrusted bezel.

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