Published 01/08/2021 by Josh Tucker

Everyone wants to think that they’ll get something for nothing. And in the digital age, you’ll find plenty of links and posts that say just that -- in exchange for a small amount of your time and information, you can be in the running to get something for free. What’s not to love? Alas, it’s not always as good as it sounds. As with most things related to the internet, there are hidden dangers when it comes to online competitions. In a few minutes, we’re going to take a look at the legitimacy of online competitions, including which signs should trigger the ‘scam alert’ warning in your mind.

Why Would An Online Competition Be A Scam?

We could discuss why people would want to scam someone else in the first place, but that’s a big topic! Instead, let’s focus on why online competitions specifically would be a scam. There are two main reasons why fraudsters would set up a fake giveaway. One is to get your personal information, which they could then use to steal your identity or sell onto others. The other way is to get the winning recipient (which is everyone) to send some money in order to claim the prize. Of course, in that instance, there is no prize.

How Common Are Competition Scams?

Now that we’ve outlined how competitions can be scams, let's think about a question that’s just as important -- how likely is it that a competition would be a scam? There’s no hard data available, but given the ease with which scammers can set up these fake competitions, you have to imagine that there are a lot out there. However, it would be wrong to avoid competitions altogether -- there are plenty of legitimate giveaways, too.

How to Protect Yourself

A little bit of knowledge can go a long way in life, and that includes when you’re entering online competitions. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

Is It Too Good To Be True?

If it sounds too good to be true, then sadly, it is. If a company you’ve never heard of is giving two backstage tickets to meet Beyonce, then it’s probably a scam however if your local radio station is offering the prize, it is probably less likely to be a scam. 

Fraudsters need to get people on the hook, and who wouldn’t want to see Beyonce or win a big-ticket prize? Of course, there are some instances when a seriously impressive prize might be up for grabs, but that’d likely come from a company that you have heard of.

Don’t Give Private Information

If the company is asking for information that is in no way relevant to the prize, then you should be on alert. And you should be even more alert if they ask for cash in order to receive the prize.

Use a Service Like Compaigns

You can protect yourself even further by using a service like Compaigns. We dive deep into the competitions on our page to assess how trustworthy they are. That means we’ve read the terms and conditions, checked the privacy policy, and we know enough about the brand running the competition to promote it to our members.

Don’t get caught out! Stay smart and safe, and you’ll be in to win some genuine prizes.

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