Hello compers! Well, those of us with little ones at home for the summer are on the home stretch now – less of the holidays still to go, than have already been. Just 2 weeks left here until my eldest goes back, and 2.5 weeks until my youngest starts school for the first time! The weather seems to have deteriorated somewhat here on the Island too; with the weathermen now saying that we have had all the hot weather we are going to have this summer. Don’t know about you, but I have even seen quite a large number of Christmas themed competitions cropping up over the last week, have you seen them too? Now, it doesn’t bother me as I LOVE Christmas (by far my favourite time of year), and would happily enter Christmas competitions all year round. But I know it will bother some people – wishing the next 3 months away, and taking us straight from the height of summer to the cold, dark nights of winter (do not pass autumn, do not collect £200).
Something else which I seem to be seeing rather a lot of again at the moment are FAKE competitions – mainly on facebook, but they do pop up in other guises too. I thought it would be a good idea to have a quick run-down of how to spot a fake competition, and not be fooled into one of their scams:
- The golden rule is “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!” If a company you have never heard of is suddenly offering 500 gold plated, diamond encrusted iPhones, or 3,000 brand new iPad Airs, then it probably isn’t a real competition! Common sense prevails in these cases!
- No promoter ever, in the history of competitions and promotions, EVER gave away hundreds of big-ticket electrical items and gadgets such as iPads and iPhones just because the boxes are open and they “cannot resell” the items. Apple and other big manufacturers sell plenty of refurbished products, and this would never be a case for just “giving them away”. This is all a load of baloney too, there are no iPads and iPhones to be giving away and it’s all a phishing scam.
- Seen a competition being promoted by “Tesco” or “Argos”, but their Facebook or Twitter pages only have a few thousand followers? Surely a big, national company should have 100,000s of followers? Yep, too darn right they should. Fake accounts, claiming to be giving away items from the big nationals pop up all the time. If the site doesn’t look right – bad grammar and spelling, not enough followers, logos not quite right, website addresses not quite right – it is probably fake and don’t bother entering the competitions, as there won’t be any prizes!
- So why do all these fake comps exist? The simple answer is they want your likes and follows. A lot of the time as soon as the pages have built up a good fan base, they will sell the page to another unscrupulous person, who will change the name and the content, remove all the competitions and fill it with their own stuff – which most of the time you will have no interest in reading. They have a free, readymade fan base, and you are duped into following something you may not want to be associated with at all. So it is better if you never like the page at all, as finding out what it becomes after they have removed all the competitions is quite difficult.
- Sometimes we get letters through the post promising that we have “guaranteed to have won one of several amazing prizes”, and all you need to do is send a small admin fee, or call a phone number to claim. Genuine promoters will, as a rule, never ask you to pay anything to claim your prize – the one exception is when a small business asks for P&P to cover sending out a prize, if the winner cannot collect locally. Never give your bank details to anyone in relation to a prize.
- If you are on Facebook, there is a “Conned by Comps” group you can join, which keeps compers up to date with all the rogue promoters out there at the moment. Quite a few of the famous fake pages are all owned by the same person or people, and this group is great at keeping us all informed of their new pages, guises and names, so we know to steer well clear. The group privacy is set to “closed” for obvious reasons, so you will need to request to join.
- If you are ever in doubt of the provenance of a competition, please do feel free to forward it to be on Facebook or twitter and I will gladly take a look on your behalf!
Stay safe out there compers, and spend your time entering the competitions that actually have prizes to offer – leave the fake ones well alone, they are a waste of precious comping time.
Happy comping and lots of Lucky Dust to you all!