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While the status of Google+ invites keep switching from “live to dead to back to gone again”, it’s worth noting that you’ll see some weird and wonderful things while hunting for invites.

You’ll also see this:

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“Free Google+ invites instantly”?

Opening the short URL presents you with – oh, I’ll let you take a wild guess:

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Yes, it’s survey time. Once you’ve finished winning Starbucks gift cards and have decided who would win in a fight between Ronald McDonald and The King, you’re left with the following download:

“Googleplus2.rar”? Well, that sounds dubious – especially as the uploader is also promoting what appears to be a collection of stolen RuneScape accounts. There seemed to be an issue with the surveys on offer, so we couldn’t download the .rar to see what was inside but we’re guessing either 1) garbage or 2) pilfered accounts from, well, anywhere really.

Elsewhere there are some interesting profiles starting to appear on G+. Here’s one promoting a “free iPhone apps” website:

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Visit the link, and you’re presented with numerous programs to download.

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As you can see, they have your sword…and your bow…and your Golden Axe.

It’s also listed as “cracked”, and as you well know randomly downloading “cracked” programs can often turn out to be a bad idea. Depending on which download links you use, you may also be presented with requests for payment before downloading.

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¬£10  for premium access through SMS? Not so much “free iPhone apps” as “sort of free iPhone apps if you click the right link, maybe”.

Spammers are already firing fake invite emails around for pharma sites, and you can bet the Youtube scam videos and G+ profiles linking to potentially unsafe downloads will start to increase in frequency as the days roll by.

Let’s hope the scammers don’t pile in wholesale on one of the more entertaining services I’ve seen launched in recent months.

Christopher Boyd