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Your Safety and Online Comping
In the age of modern www, we consider how safe it is to provide your details online. Is it legitimate to fear that they will end up everywhere? With words like phishing (where you are tricked to giving your password over the internet), that all so popular Nigerian inheritance that will cost you to collect and fake charity and disaster websites seeking donations, it is no wonder many of us are internet-weary.
When competition entries are all electronic, you could potentially be sending your personal details out there to who knows who.
Don’t get us wrong, we firmly believe entering competitions online is a very safe hobby. But you need to keep your wits about you to keep your personal details safe while you are entering competitions online.
Here are fifteen ways to ensure your personal details are not inadvertently being passed onto scammers and tricksters when entering competitions online, or that you are not the victim of a fake win:
1. Only enter the mandatory information on the competition entry form. If you think the promoter is asking for too much information, or you are wary about sharing your information, skip the competition.
2. You should never have to hand over cash to claim a prize, or provide banking information to enter a competition. So never complete everything such as credit card details, bank account information to claim a prize.
3. For promotions where the prize is large, like a new car, or a huge amount of cash, you will not receive just an email, you will receive a phone call or a letter from the promoter. Check out our article ‘What a Real Winning Email Looks Like’ for advice on this.
4. Never reply to a email you are pretty sure is spam (even if you want to click ‘unsubscribe’). This is just indicating to the spammer your address is active, and will result in you being bombarded with bogus offers and emails.
6. Check out the website address you are using. Is it the same as the name of the business or promoter you thought you were entering the competition of?
6. Check to see that there are terms and conditions for the competition. Australian competitions require these, so don’t enter a competition unless you are sure the promoter is above board.
7. If you are unsure about any link from an email, try googling or going directly to the website.
8. Major companies and promoters will never use a Yahoo, Hotmail or similar email address. They will use an address that contains the name of the actual company. If in doubt, go to the company website which should list any promotions they are running.
9. Major companies and brands will probably not SMS you from a strange number, or refer you to a third party website to claim your prize. If you are in doubt, call the actual company on an independent telephone number you found yourself. Use an internet search or the telephone book.
10. People posing on the telephone as a representative from company will always talk fast, and not give you time to gather your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask for a number and call back in a couple of minutes. Check that number by googling it, or using another search engine.
11. Take care if you are asked to call a number to collect your prize. These may be a premium international telephone number that could end up costing you a fortune!
12. Remember, unless you entered a competition, you can’t win a prize. Don’t be afraid to say, “I enter a lot of competitions, can you please remind me what this competition was for?”. Make sure you are satisfied with the response.
13. If you are unsure, ask questions. Seek confirmation of the identity of the promoter. Say, “This is not the most convenient time, can I call you back?” A genuine promoter should not have a problem with this a will give you their telephone number.
14. Remember, unless you entered a competition, you can’t win a prize! So if you are sure you didn’t enter the competition, run, don’t walk, away!
15. PrizeWinner’s best advice however is to go with your gut instincts. If it does not feel not right, don’t do it. If you truly are the winner of a great prize, the promoter will find you will find you.
PrizeWinners looks at how ruthless promoters try to catch out unsuspecting compers by leaving expired competitions and prize draws online.
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