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The internet is littered with fake competitions, promising all sorts of fantastic prizes from free cash and gift vouchers to luxury goods and package holidays. But with the vast majority of these competitions being free-to-enter, why would someone go to such lengths when there is seemingly nothing in it for them?

Why Create a Fake Competition?

The main reason would be to harvest email address and phone numbers to sell onto third-party companies. If you’re a regular ‘comper’ and find your inbox is being filled up with spam, there’s a good chance you’ve signed up with a dodgy company somewhere down the line.

So instead of that dream trip to Disneyland, all you’re really getting is a whole lot of unwanted junk mail advertising every type of offer under the sun – offers that are very hard to dispose of as your details are then passed on again and again.

On Facebook, scammers will create fake competitions simply to attract increased ‘likes’ on their page. The page is then sold to another company, who in turn rebrands the content completely. This ‘new’ page has now acquired a large audience without growing it organically, to which you are completely oblivious.

How To Spot The Fakes

Scammers are not scared to imitate their target with unsettling precision, going so far as using the official logo and correct contact details. This means spotting fraudulent competitions becomes extremely tricky, albeit not impossible.

If the prize seems too good to be true, it usually is. Established companies such as a giant tech firm won’t be handing out hundreds of expensive items for free for example. Using a bit of common sense can go a long way.

On social media, look for verified accounts and hover over previous content on the page – if this is their very first competition, take it as a red flag and so too if the existing followers look suspicious. Head to the official company website and click the Facebook link from there to be certain.

But even entering a genuine prize competition can still be detrimental as you’re also signing up to third-party companies inadvertently – sometimes numerous of them at the same time. Read the terms and conditions to know exactly what you’re signing up for when you click ‘Enter’.

Stay Safe With The Spinner

The Spinner is an independent company and so your personal information will never be passed on to anyone else. We’ll only send out emails occasionally to inform of important changes to the site, or more excitingly, regarding up and coming prize draws. You can unsubscribe from these at any time.

Our registration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) also shows our willingness to comply with strict data protection obligations, all of which you can view in our Privacy Policy.

About Adam Hughes

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