SCAM: CNN Spoof of Apple iPhone 6 for $5 via OneInThree

If you visited a page that looked just like CNN recently which offered the iPhone 6 for $5 and you entered your credit card information, call your card company and deactivate the card now. This is a scam.

If you haven’t entered your information in yet, don’t.

What the scam looks like

One of my clients brought this scam to my attention today. The first thing I noticed was that the URL was not CNN.com on the scam page, it is www.cnn-shopping.com. Well, CNN is not in the shopping business now are they?

The headline of the page reads “Is Apple getting desperate? They’re selling the iPhone 6 for $5 in US”.

Here are some screenshots:

cnn spoof

Here’s www.cnn-shopping.com and it looks just like CNN’s website.

Clicking anything on the fake/spoof webpage above results in you being taken to this page where you can “claim your iPhone 6”:

fake congrats

Or if you visit the URL directly, you’ll get this:

prize bay scam

What the home page of www.oneinthreechancetowin.com looks like

And finally, this is what the next page looks like:

shipping scam

This page is extra fishy. $9.99 postage? FedEx Express costs double or triple that.. If the phone is a $600 phone why bother charging $5 for it?

How to tell this is a scam

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Nobody is selling the iPhone 6 for $5. If they were, yes, it would make CNN headlines, but, in this case, it is a scam.
  • www.cnn-shopping.com can be entered into whois.com, which shows domain registration information. The website was just registered 5 days ago. This is a tell tale sign of a scam.
  • The main article says OneInThree is a publicly traded company with the NASDAQ ticker LXQZ. The ticker does not exist.
  • CNN does have a shopping site, but it’s www.cnnstoreonline.com.

Note: There is a chance that this is actually an entrance into a really horrible service by “prizebay”, aka prizebay.club. The service is “sort of” legal, but results in most people unknowingly being charged all sorts of fees via small print.

What to do if you entered your credit card information

If you entered your credit card information, call your card company and deactivate the card now.

46 Comments
  1. thank you for saving me! i was stupid enough to believe that was real, and put in my information. luckily i saw your post soon enough, and deactivated my card.

    • we all fall for it

    • Just so you know: the actual website is not cnn at all. That is just a a sub domain. you can tell if its the real website by checking the url. this website says http://cnn.com-1ndex.com/ in the url, so it sort of looks like cnn.com, but is really com-1ndex.com. ALWAYS make sure that it is the real website before entering information. download avast free antvirus. it WILL protect you.

  2. I didn’t put in my credit card info, however I did give them my name address and email address 🙁 should I be concerned?

  3. Thanks Len….you provide a great service. I did fall for it, but then noticed that the article did no show up on the CNN news page, googled it and found your site. I cancelled my card. Minor headaches as a result, but so much better than having had my card info circling in some criminal cyberspace. So…big, big thanks

    • I’m not sure how people are landing on this page… Did you navigate to it from cnn.com somehow?

      • I was on a soap opera page with lots of ads and this one came from nowhere particular.

      • I was directed to that page from one of CNN’s articles.
        This is one of the reasons I am switching to another news outlets, CNN’s site became a joke and a risk

      • I was on cnn.com and navigated to the page somehow

      • Thank you! I was really starting to question my sanity with this scam. Sometimes you think…
        Nope… definitely a scam, but it is interesting how they would promote that CNN is behind this. Like you said it is cnnshopping and I thought it was legit. I really appreciate the time it took you to keep people from having to deal with fraudulent activity.

  4. Thanks so much. I am normally so careful. I did start reading the fine print and noticed all the extras they were charging for. I would also like to know if I am OK, since I gave my name, address, and email. Also do you think there was any kind of virus?

  5. I put in all of my information and something told me not to hit “submit” so I closed out of the screen. Am I okay?

  6. I put all my info but when I hit submit my card declined. You think they still got all my information. I was so stupid to even believe it because it has CNN on the site. To good to be true, then it is. Should trust your instinct.

  7. Hi…happy I found you this morning after my very stupid martini induced decision to get another iPhone 6 (which i dont need) bc of the $5 offer. I wonder how many people have given them $10? Even if they don’t do anything else with your cc info. just the $10 alone, smart scammers, they can make some good $. It is a well done scam, and most see the CNN and yes it all looks and reads real, except the url, which should always be double checked, especially if you do not know where the page came from. Which was my only doubt through this process, where did the page come from? It just showed up, and not like a pop up. I was reading an article on the independent UK news website and there it was. Its sad how vigilant we have to be all the time now, very little can be trusted.
    Thanks for helping us out Len!

  8. Hello. I almost fell for this. I went as far as typing in my credit card information in the ‘FedEx Express’ screen but I did not click ‘Confirm.’ I found your page and I went back and erased all information from all fields then closed the browser tab. Should i be concerned? They have my name, address and email information. Thanks.

    • If you didn’t submit it you’re probably fine.

      • Thanks. What caught my attention and prompted me to do a search first was the absence of a security padlock (SSL) in the ‘FedEx Express’ screen. Thanks so much for your vigilance.

  9. This site was picked up by some media outlets that did nothing to vet it. One in particular was Mediapost, reputable outlet, normally.

    From their newsletter:

    “Apple Apparently Selling iPhones For $5
    CNN.com
    Apple is giving a steep discount to their customers by offering the iPhone 6 for a mere $5, just 99% discount off sticker (while supplies last, presumably). Distributor OneInThree partnered with Apple to give the exclusive discount. Marketing director Joel Branson says Apple is trying to grab back share from encroaching rival Samsung and it’s Galaxy S6. – Read the whole story…”

    and here is a link from their Twitter page:

    https://twitter.com/MediaPost/status/645930740060946432

  10. Len,

    thanks so much for posting this info.

    I made this mistake last night and when my credit card was rejected, I decided not to try again.

    This morning I checked this scam out on http://www..snopes.com but no luck finding anything so I contacted a computer friend of mine who is always vigilant and he found your comments.

    So I immediately called my credit card company and cancelled but in reviewing the past ten days worth of charges, nothing strange showed up.

    Will they use the other info they captured?

  11. the page i saw would only take a visa card. if i entered a master card number and confirmed the purchase and got a window saying rejected because not a visa number do i still need to cancel the card?

  12. I am so happy we have people like you who save us from getting fooled…thank you so much…I am glad you penned this article.

  13. Wow!! I’m so glad I found this article! I almost got sucked in on this scam, I started putting in my credit card info and stopped because I saw the small print and then decided to do my research first. What scam artist ppl are!!

  14. I saw this, and wanted the 6, badly. FORTUNATELY… I read the terms

    “You agree to the Terms & Conditions of PrizeBay. By accepting the Prizes (including bid Credits), you agree to purchase 250 bid credits valued at $49.95 after 5 days, and a further 50 bid credits per month at $17.95 thereafter from PrizeBay™” A little more than $5.
    I wonder how many people are going to get a nasty surprise on their next Credit Card bill? Not to mention the $9.99 “free” shipping.

  15. Do we also need to contact PrizeBay and cancel transaction?

  16. There is also one talking about getting it for £1 in the Uk as we speak right now AND even has people commenting that they have received their phones in the mail.

  17. I did follow the article and submitted myself card details but it rejected as they don’t accept payment from my country. What should I do now, have they taken my information. Should I deactivate my card. Please reply

  18. Im from Ecuador an I put all my information that’s dangerous??

  19. They got me too, I reconcile my bank every day so when I spotted a charge for 58.64 I knew it then. Called the number listed for the purchase and got a refund which was processed within minutes. Then called my bank for a new card.
    WHEW!

  20. Thanks for confirming my fears about this website. Clicking on the link took me to something called funkyclock which wanted me to sign up for the chance of winning an iPhone, free trial and then $139 per month.

  21. thank u for these comments i almost got caught but i counld not remember the very helpfullof the site so i went to cnn iphpne for 5.00 and found all these comments

  22. Just so you know: the actual website is not cnn at all. That is just a a sub domain. you can tell if its the real website by checking the url. this website says cnn.com-1ndex.com/ in the url, so it sort of looks like cnn.com, but is really com-1ndex.com. ALWAYS make sure that it is the real website before entering information. download avast free antvirus. it WILL protect you.

  23. Hello!
    Just letting you know, exactly the same scam is being run in other countries such as New Zealand. They change the names of the cities and people around to make it seem more realistic and also change up the website (e.g. TechNews or similar), but it’s the same one by the same guys.

  24. Yep, just got scammed here in New Zealand. Feeling pretty stupid. Plausible newspaper story; 1 day offer reported through CNN with Techspot endorsement “we have just checked, there are 100 phones still left in stock, offer closes at midnight”

    The $1 offer came with a 3 day trial to Funkyclock.com which purports to be a game site that offers nice prizes. Trouble is by then you have paid your dollar and they have collected your credit card details. After 3 days $139.00 gets deducted from your account every month – and you have agreed to it! I immediately cancelled the account and unsubscribed. So far only $1 has gone out of my account. I have cancelled my card to make sure.

    With hindsight I should have got very suspicious at all the CNN forum contributors who said they received their phone after 3 days and how happy they were. Hang on! This is a today only deal – how come you have got your phones so fast?

    LOL and Doh!

  25. Hello LEN:

    Last night i did this mistake. I have transacted $1.99 and gave them all my details with home address.

    Feeling really scared. What they will do if i don’t cancel my credit card now?

    Appreciate if you please explain in brief.

  26. This scam is still going strong, just saw it today and it is from TN NEWS now

  27. Please don not fall for this scam. I f you will send me your banking information I will see to it that your monies is safe.

    Reverend General Gatcha Abacha
    Lagos Niggeria

  28. wow, people are really dumb.. dont put your CC information anywhere without your due dilligence!

  29. With my sleep-deprived brain, browsing news on Bloomberg, then click on a link on the bottom of the page to FOX TECH, I ended up falling for this scam!

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