How to Spot Fake
Sweepstaking can be a lot of fun! The
friends you make, the new exciting companies you find out about! And, one thing
that is especially fun, is when you win! :)
However -- unfortunately, some other
people try to take advantage of good natured Sweepstaking, and try to spoil it
for other people. (They might use your personal information to try and 'bombard'
you with products & services with no real intention of ever awarding a
sweepstakes). So, it is important to be able to spot a fake sweepstakes!
(Aside: Of course, at any time you
can go to the list of Sweepstakes we have compiled on the Sweepstakes Ninja
We do our best to ensure that only legitimate sweepstakes get listed in here).
So anyways, how do you
spot a fake Sweepstakes site?
- Non-stop surveys are not
sweepstakes! There are some people that try to get you to enter
non-stop 'surveys' when entering sweepstakes. While there are legitimate
sweepstakes that will ask you to fill in a quick survey (I've seen many
automobile ones like Ford do that), if you find yourself in and endless
barage of surveys, then stop. It's most likely not legit.
- Strange Looking Domain Name!
- Most 'legitimate' sweepstakes will either be hosted on a .com extension,
the actual 'company' sponsoring the sweepstakes (in which case you can find
more info about the company), or a domain containing the name of the brand.
(I.e., 'tidedetergentsweepstakes.com'). If it looks fishy (i.e., a
".biz" extension), has a bunch of dashes (i.e., 'super-duper-sweepstakes.com'),
or is a very 'generic' name (i.e., "win-a-car.com" versus
"wina2012fordmustang.com"), then chances are it is not legit.
- Page Design Too Poor! -
Most companies that run sweepstakes take the time to make sure it looks
semi-professional, if not really well done. If it is a poor design, then
either it is being run by a single individual (they don't have the
time/money to put together something that looks good), -- OR -- it is just a
- Page Design Too Slick! - On
the flip side -- if the page design looks "too" slick, then it may
also be a 'fake' sweepstakes. Some people (not all) -- called 'Internet
Marketers' -- will try to use the pyschology of persuasion to try and get
you to 'sign up now!'. It may also be for something called a 'CPA' offer -
which means 'Cost Per Aquisition'. (I.e., the person gets 'paid' for every
e-mail address they collect, with no real intention of ever offering a
sweepstakes). While some CPA offers are legit (i.e., they really do offer a
sweepstakes as well) -- many are not. So if the page design looks
"too" slick, then it may also be a fake site.
- No 'official' rules listed!
- Many 'fly-by-night' operations will forget to list official rules. That's
because they really don't care, or simply forget. That's because they have
no intention of offering a sweepstakes. If you can't find the rules listed
anywhere, then it may be fake.
- "Free" is listed in
the domain name. Ironically -- if it has 'free' listed in the
domain, then chances are its not really free. They will try to get you to
part with your credit card information before you ever receive anything. One
'popular' variant that is going around nowadays is anything that has 'free
ringtones' or 'free ipad', or something along those lines in the domain.
Generally speaking, those sites will never award you anything. It is just
something called a 'CPA' offer, and has a real hard sell.
- Check the domain registar.
While this is a little more 'techy', you can check the domain by doing
something called a 'WHOIS' search. If the domain information is hidden
(i.e., registered via a hidden Godaddy private registration/domainsbyproxy), or was registered
within the last two weeks, then it may be a fake sweepstakes website as
Anyways, follow this advice -- and you
can avoid the 'bad' ones, while having a lot of fun entering good, legimate