Current competition scams to watch out for
Unfortunately, scams seem to be part and parcel of comping these days, and there are many ways that scammers try to take advantage of those of us that enjoy entering prize promotions.
Experienced compers are getting good at spotting the difference between fake and genuine messages, but new compers are definitely at risk from scams. I’ll be keeping this blog post up to date with the latest scams affecting compers. Please do share it with new compers!
Have you received this letter in the post? Churchcastle publish competition advertisements in national newspapers, usually with a big cash prize to be won.
When you’ve entered and they have your details, they’ll send you letters like the one above, encouraging you to enter more of their competitions. They target older people who can complete the wordsearch easily, but can’t read the small print. If you have older family members – ask if you can check their phone bill, as they are easily tempted by these scammers!
For this particular promotion, the entry method is to call an automated phone line at a cost of £5.40 plus your network access charge. They will try and get you to stay on the line for a second call, at an extra cost of £7.20. The prizes are genuine, but nobody should feel they have to spend a whopping £12.60 to enter two competitions! The closing date is stated as 25th June 2021 (this gives urgency to the letter and encourages people to phone immediately) – but in the small print the closing date isn’t until 31 August 2021. It’s likely that there will be further marketing sent out for this same prize, with people encouraged to enter again without realising it’s the same competition.
Check out my blog post on how to win cash prizes in FREE online competitions too – you don’t need to make expensive phone calls or send premium rate texts to be successful!
Currys PC World text message
A congratulatory text message using your first name is a common way scammers try to get your attention. It usually has grammar or spelling errors. Clicking the link will take you to a website where you’re presented with a list of winners – one of which is you, of course! There’s usually a time limit on clicking to claim, and you’ll be asked to pay a fee to get your ‘prize’. This particular scam went to mynewphone365.com and asked for card details.
You’ll see this was a scam I personally received – I don’t actually get many scam texts, but I know the scammers have my details from a long time ago as my address is listed as Nottingham. All it takes is an entry into one dodgy prize draw, and your personal details can be sold on to many scammers and used to send you spam for years.
SurveyQuick – win a Samsung Galaxy S20
Watch out for SurveyQuick adverts claiming ‘you have 1 unread message’ – clicking on it will take you to an online scratchcard type game where you ‘win’ a Samsung Galaxy S20. You’re then asked to pay £2 for shipping. Never make any payments to receive a prize!
Amazon survey – win a MacBook
Watch out for WinMyPrize247 adverts online, while you’re entering competitions on other websites – the screenshot below was taken by one of my readers after she clicked on a link advertising an ‘Amazon survey to win a MacBook Pro‘ on the Virgin Radio competitions page.
The survey advert links to a page where you can enter to win a MacBook Pro for just £1. TrustPilot reviews of the Win My Prize 247 website tell us that once you’ve paid the £1, you’re then charged a monthly subscription fee of £49.95 to remain a member of the site, and many have been scammed. Be warned!
If you believe an advert is leading to a scam website, there should be a small button you can click to report it to the ad network (in the case of Virgin Radio, this is Google – but here on SuperLucky, it’s Mediavine). These adverts are NOT related to the websites they appear on, and could appear anywhere online.
Royal Mail text message scam
If you enter competitions, you can expect plenty of unexpected parcels in the post. You might have received a ‘Your parcel is waiting for delivery’ text message claiming to be from Royal Mail, asking you to pay a delivery fee at the fake website https://royalmail-settlement.com. The real Royal Mail website is www.royalmail.com. If you do need to pay for underpaid Royal Mail postage, you’ll get a card through your door with instructions on where to collect your item, and how to pay. The Guardian have reported on victims who have lost thousands of pounds after falling for this scam, and the similar DHL one.
Read more: How to spot a scam text message
Fake Console & gadget giveaways on Twitter
Twitter scammers are setting up accounts to run tech giveaways – and unfortunately when one is reported and shut down, another seems to pop up. The scammers set up a simple fake RT prize draw, then message multiple entrants congratulating them on winning. In the DM they ask for shipping fees to be paid via PayPal before the prize can be dispatched. You should never have to pay money to receive a prize! NEVER give card details or make PayPal or BACS payments. to a promoter. When entering a competition, look for a closing date and proper T&Cs – and check that the promoter has a working website link in their Twitter/Instagram bio, or on their Facebook About page.
Instagram and Facebook profile cloning scam
If you’ve commented on any Instagram or Facebook competitions recently, you’re likely to be targeted by scammers. They set up fake accounts pretending to be the competition promoter then message entrants with a link. When you visit the link, you may be asked to give personal and card details to pay for the delivery cost of your prize. If your small fee payment is successful, the scammers will go on to deduct a larger amount from your card. The clue to these scammers is that they follow you on Instagram first, most have a private profile, and they usually have one character different in their name to the genuine account. In addition, their English is usually terrible, with poor spelling and grammar.
To report the accounts on Instagram, tap the three dots on the right of their profile page, then Report from the menu and select It’s inappropriate. Select Report account then It’s posting content that shouldn’t be on Instagram, and Scam or Fraud.
Read more: Facebook & Instagram profile cloning scam
Report scams to Action Fraud
If you’ve been the victim of a scammer and it’s cost you money, report the scam to the police through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report a scam anonymously on the Action Fraud website.
For more information on scams affecting compers, please see these blog posts:
- Facebook & Instagram profile cloning scam
- How to spot a scam text message
- How to spot an Instagram scam
- How to spot a scam email
- How to identify a scam Facebook promotion
If you’ve spotted a current scam targeting compers, please let me know via my contact page, so I can add the details to this post!