Deal of the week - 40% off all Vivant Equi Hair Accessories 

Facebook Competitions - How not to get scammed

Facebook Competitions - How not to get scammed

Facebook competitions are a great marketing tool for businesses as a way to get their name out to more people. They are also a cool way to give back to a community that supports them. Who doesn’t like a chance to win cool stuff!

There are a few things to be aware of when entering Facebook competitions.

Firstly, Facebook has terms and conditions businesses must abide by if they choose to run a competition. They are not allowed to make liking their page, sharing the post or tagging your friends part of the entry condition. Yes I know, many, many pages do exactly this. They are risking their page by doing it and depending on what your privacy settings are, they can’t tell if you’re shared the post or liked the page so how are they checking the winner has completed the requirements?! Up to you if you choose to enter these.

By far the biggest pain in the arse is the competition posts gets targeted by bots trying to trick the people who have commented on the post into giving out their credit card or personal details. Most people are aware of this and ignore the comment. Sadly some still don’t seem to be aware and think they are genuine. I have just recently run a competition that got hit by two bots and I got a number of messages from people saying things like “I followed this link but then got asked for credit card details. Just checking that the instructions are correct. Unsure if it was from you. Thought it was a bit odd. Didn't want to miss out so just checking.” For the love of God DON’T click on random links unless you know where it is going to take you! Especially if you think it’s strange. This is a great way to either get your device infected by a virus, your credit card details stolen or your personal details stolen. Report the comment and block the user. You don't need to do anything more than that. You don’t really even need to message the page owner. They will see the comments when they are checking the post and will sort it out.

The comments generally look like this and are generally made by replying to each person who has commented on the post. Sometimes they will take the form of a private message rather than a comment.

If you click on the link, please DON’T, the page will look something like this. Using the example on my competition post, you will note the link in the comment is nothing like the URL for the Vivant Equi website and if you do happen to click it, the page you are taken to is nothing like the Vivant Equi website.

If you are not sure if you really have won or not, there are a large number of things you can check to verify.

Check the details in the post about the competition Are you being told you've won before the competition has closed? You haven't won. 

Are other people on the post also being told they've won? You haven't won. Why would a business be giving away a prize to everyone that has entered?

Does the comment or message tell you you need to click on a link to claim the prize? You haven't won. No business will ever tell you you need to click a link, enter your credit card details or enter your personal details into some random form to claim a prize.

Does the name on the profile that has commented match the business page name? No? You haven't won. The bot copies the business profile picture. Sometimes its not even the same name!

Actual Vivant Equi profile

Bot copy profile. The name that was appearing on the comments was 

When you check the profile who has made the comment or sent the message, can you see all the posts the business page has made including the competition post you commented on? No? You haven't won. The fake profile will normally have no posts on the page. If they do, they will be nothing like the posts on the genuine page.

Has the comment or message come from a profile and not a page? You haven't won. Businesses are not allowed to use profiles; they can only use a page which is linked to a profile. You can tell the difference as a profile has an ‘Add Friend’ button.

Have you been sent a friend request by what looks like the business? You haven't won. A business will NEVER send you a friend request. Businesses are not allowed to use profiles, they can only use a page which is linked to a profile.

Has the profile that has commented or sent you a message only just been set up? You haven’t won. How has the profile that has just been set up made all the posts you can see on the genuine page that go back a long time?

Competition posts used to get hit when they were first posted then got left alone. Bots seem to have got smarter. They'll post when the competition is first launched. Then new accounts will post again when it closes. Then yet more new accounts again a few days later saying the winners couldn't be contacted. 

Every fake account gets blocked but they make more. Vivant Equi's last competition resulted in 20, yes 20, fake accounts being set up pretending to be Vivant Equi 🙄

Leave your comment