Well I learned that Ashley is not going to get her iPad this week and I should have known weeks ago it was way to good to be true. I was foolishly blogged about this ipad win here and here. This person was very questionable and blogged for three years about his special needs daughter and used many giveaways and even guest blog posts on famous bloggers sites to generate traffic. Then he asked for small donations with chances to win expensive products to get people to CHIPIN to a fund for his disabled daughter. I noticed he was frequently reseting his CHIPIN back to zero over the last few months. Another obvious clue I over looked but thought was strange at the time. He would tell the ipad winners that if he just collected $200 more his bosses would include extras. He was very subtle in his requests for funds from the winners never asking too directly for money. He was also always telling us sad stories of his child's suffering epilesy and needing brain surgery. I reported this person to the RCMP here in Canada but we have no way of knowing who he is except by his email address.
Please be aware if you don't know someone in real life and they are looking for your money beware. I won a few prizes on the internet from legit sources and real people they never ask for money even to ship across the border and always send the prizes right away. They also never ask you to even blog about your win you just do to thank them once the prize arrives.
I never personally donated any money to his CHIPIN but I feel sick to my stomach that I promoted it here on my blog and posted in FB and retweeted some of his tweets. He would ask us to do that stuff for him. The iPad winners were being used to help promote something that's so questionable. Which makes me upset that I took so long to realize this. There will be more posts about this on the other winners blogs I'm sure. One of my FB friends made a small donation to his fund to apply to win an ipad in his second round of ipad giveaways. I feel very bad about that. I should have been a blaring clue he was planning to have a second round of ipad giveaways and charge a small fee to enter weeks ago before sending out this first round of ipads. Not to mention the value of the package he was planning on shipping to 40 people I feel very foolish.
Please do not donate money on-line if you don't know the people in-real life no matter how long you have been reading there blog there is lots of this going on I'm so sorry to say. Never enter internet contest where you have to make a donation. There are lots of legit ones you can enter that just ask you to leave a comment or Like them on face book or tweet about them
Please spread the word to your blogging buddies. It's too easy to donate a few dollars for the chance for a wonderful prize that could be just imaginary and there are all kinds of wonderful legit charities that need our donation funds. When I reported this it to anti-fraud police in Canada they said it was very important to spread the word. It's also import to report anything like this stuff to the police. This makes me want to stop blogging which I love doing.
updated 07/10 with latest email from.
I thought I should add this last email from Mike to my post that went out to all the winners yesterday. I truly hope he is on the up and up and this is just a series of unfortunate events but my faith in him is dwindling. If the ipad does show up I'll be sure to post a photo and apologize about this post however I don't really believe one is on it's way at this point.
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2011 22:06:03 -0400
Subject: Update 7/9 10:05 PM
When we selected the final 40 awardees back on March 21st from a pool of 311 applicants and provided them to the selection committee, we had no idea that all the finalists would be awarded at that time. We were originally expecting 5, then 10, then 20, then finally 35. During the determination of the awardees, the entire selection committee was so touched by everybody's stories, they decided to tell me in early May that they would award all 40 finalists the ipads and applications. The winners were publicly announced on May 11th. Through the rest of May and through June 22nd we collected iPad application lists to pre-purchase for the winners, and other than some surmountable legal issues we were informed all was proceeding reasonably smoothly.
Through all the escalations of awards, this has proven to be a monumental task, much more than anybody expected initially and we probably didn't have adequate consistent manpower available. We live in Northern Virginia and I telecommute to North Carolina. Application purchase, box packing, and shipping of the iPads with accessories was supposed to have been handled at the North Carolina location. We've recently discovered that many mistakes were made by a variety of employees and not reported to us even after we became directly involved with the principals. We were informed the iPads had shipped, and given our family's ongoing health concerns, perhaps we didn't supervise the situation as well as we could have. On the night of July 6th, we received an anonymous threatening email related to the giveaway and promptly informed the awardees of the email.
After consultation with law enforcement and legal representation, the decision was made to temporarily halt the iPad shipping process based on the threat. Since then, we have received some information as to the origin and nature of the threat and it has been provided to members of law enforcement. While we haven't been supplied a timetable, as soon as the threat evaluation is complete we fully intend to closely and in person supervise future shipping of the iPads to the awardees as long as they had no involvement in the threats. Verifiable tracking information omitting awardees' personal information will be provided to any interested party during the shipping process. When the evaluation is complete and shipping recommences, an announcement will be made at marissasbunny.com.
While my goal has always been to help the special needs community, I'd be remiss in my duties as a husband and a Father to not take care of my own family's safety first due to the still unclear nature of the threat at the time of this post. That said, we remain committed to the cause, and anxiously await reports in the not too distant future of iPads arriving and photos of their first use.