How to Spot a Scam Competition Stories

Member, Chris, asked this question recently "I have been a member for quite some time and I wanted to thank you for such a great site. I was wondering whether you may be able to cover in your blog some more tips on how to tell if a competition is legitimate or not. There are a lot of sites that seem dubious. Thanks again for all your hard work!"

Okay, first things first. The image to your top left looks real, doesn't it? It's actually a fake competition, and goes to how you how much trouble scammers will go to the pretend they're the real deal.

At Competitions Guide we always try to ensure that competitions listed are acting within the laws of this country. Not always easy to do, however for the most part we get it right.

It's important to know that websites that offer a competition and then send you a stack of emails for the privilege aren't acting illegally providing that they are clear about their intentions, and offer the opportunity to unsubscribe with any email sent.

Likewise, one of our greatest bugbears are competitions that require a mobile phone number, and then proceed to send the entrant a PIN, followed by a set of charges for each SMS sent and received. Dubious? Absolutely, but not a scam in most cases as the charges are traditionally laid out in clause 479 of their terms and conditions.

Here's our Top rules for spotting a dubious competition, whether it's legally a scam or not ........

1. Join Competitions Guide here if you haven't already This isn't a ploy to get your join us, but we do the hard work in testing, reviewing and analysing comps - it's what we do for a living, and takes the pressure off you.

2. Always look for a set of terms and conditions. Even a poor set of terms are better than none at all. At the very least, make sure the end date is clearly noted, and where the winner's name/s are going to be posted

3. Don't click on competition ads If we send you to a competition to win a TV and you see on that site a competition to win a caravan, don't be tempted. 3rd Party marketing survey comps are as good as handing over your details for life.

4. Beware sites based overseas They are not necessarily scams, but it's a lot easier for a website not to award a prize. Plus, if you're competing on the global market, there's a much less chance of winning anyway. If a site has too many Aussie flags, chances are it's overseas based.

5. Never respond to a mobile phone PIN request There is nothing you'll gain out of it, except to shed some valuable money.

6. Beware competition emails If a comp is any good, we'll know about it and list it accordingly. If you enter a 3rd party marketing survey comp (quite a mouthful) send out loads of competitions by email, and overseas based ones will pass on your details to others.

Common sense is the best rule to follow. It's easy to see how competition entrants can get caught up in the whirl of free stuff, which in many cases is the essence of competitions.

Just go easy, ask questions, and if in doubt ..... don't.

Yours Comp-letely,

Competitions Guide


Easy to Enter Competitions
In under three weeks I have won 2 prizes - stoked as I have never won anything before. This site is excellent as I can keep track of what I enter by using the ticks and the stars (favourites) so that if I get emails or phone calls saying I've won - I can check that I've actually entered!
Martine (Member Number: 530188)
My Rule
I make it a rule never to give my mobile number. If my home phone isn't acceptable then I won't enter
Mick (Member Number: 55377)
Florida Holiday a very expensive win
Yes Marnie, I too was excited to receive an email telling me I had won a holiday in Florida. After 30 minutes on a call to the USA (via Sydney) I was told the total value was $3900 and all I had to pay was $900 - now do you want to use Visa or MasterCard for that? This came up even before I could get in a word to ask about airfares from Australia to get to Florida in the first place! I don't know that it was a scam so much as a huge discount off the holidays offered which might be alright if you were within driving distance!
Glenda (Member Number: 196488)
Thanks for this post it has given me a better understanding in how to spot a scam
Harry (Member Number: 106717)
Read the fine print
Great comments. I definitely agree with the thinking about why a comp's being run. And definitely about reading the terms and conditions. If there aren't any or seem vague, don't enter - especially if the site wants your phone number. I also totally agree with Jonathan's comment: there's no win unless it's in your mailbox.
Lisa (Member Number: 16281)
I'm also new and think this info is really valuable. I'm having so much fun entering these competitions, I can't wait to actually win something!!!
Danielle (Member Number: 148210)
at last hear the truth. good advice
no averice
Robin (Member Number: 139621)
Just read how to spot a scam competition!
Thank you for all the comments, I also am a new member of this site. Havn't won anything as yet, but its nice to know I am in a safe web site!
Terri (Member Number: 132151)
Beware of travel survey competitions
I entered a competition that required me to answer a short survey about travel and received a call from America to tell me that I had won a Florida trip for four people. After over 30 exciting minutes as they described in great detail all that I would see and do, I was asked for my credit card details for a "one off fee" of $990 so they could post the information to me. *SIGH*
Mary (Member Number: 5236)
Thank you for posting my question. Great tips!
Chris (Member Number: 53636)
Neither scam nor spam!
This was very helpful! Now that I know how to avoid the scam competitions, the next thing to learn is how to avoid the spam competitions! I always seem to end up with competitions that spam me from 100s of companies because of a bit of fine print.
Ashley (Member Number: 132113)
Hi, i'm very new to competitions on line and so appreciate all the help i can get in spotting scams, it wasn't something that i had given much consideration before...but i do now
Stephen (Member Number: 128972)

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