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How to Spot Fake Sweepstakes

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 website: http://www.sweepstakesninja.com/sweepstakes/. 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 fake design.
  • 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 well.

Anyways, follow this advice -- and you can avoid the 'bad' ones, while having a lot of fun entering good, legimate sweepstakes!

 


Johnathan
http://www.sweepstakesninja.com/