Don’t Cheat Online Promotions

Don't Cheat OnlineThinking of cheating online promotions? Don’t do it!

There are many ways people try to cheat online promotions and it goes far beyond setting up multiple email accounts (that tactic is so 1990s and it amazes me that people think in 2012, they won’t get caught and disqualified for that.) If you ever receive a prize from a promotion you didn’t win in, it’s likely they disqualified others and drew your name for those prizes. When everyone else has received their prizes from a promotion and one or two people continue to say they never received theirs, it’s quite possible they were disqualified. Generally, they will only tell a person of a disqualification if that person contacts them looking for a prize.

Also, it’s very easy to track entries by IP address and many people who cheat don’t realize that a ton of entries coming from the same IP address looks very suspicious.

Some people have the technical skills to set up computer scripts to play on their behalf. CAPTCHA codes help curb that behavior, but not every promotion uses them. Computer scripts are against the rules. Never use automated scripts to enter any kind of promotion. Always enter for yourself. FYI: Many sweepstakes/games administrators have the technology to pick up on automated entry behavior and they will disqualify for it. I’ve heard of people being permanently banned by ePrize, but I have no way of knowing if that is true. Sounds good to me, though. They run at least 75 percent of all instant win promotions. If someone gets banned by them, it would be the end of instant win games for that person.

In the end, all cheating does is ruin it for everyone and causes the sponsors to quit running new promotions. They want real people looking at their brands and they want to give prizes to a multitude of people, not 20 fake people in the same household. Cheating is bad for everyone and the cheater will be caught and disqualified, no doubt about that. The bad part is that people who played by the rules will also be punished because there will not be as many promotions from that sponsor in the future if it causes such a headache for them to have a promotion.

Reminder to everyone:  Be sure you thank the sponsors for your prizes when you receive them. With Facebook and Twitter, it’s very easy to send the sponsor a message thanking them for running the promotion. Let them know how much you enjoy their instant win promotions and encourage them to have another in the future. Positive feedback goes a long way.

  • jibbajabba317

    You would think,they would know that,cheaters are losers..!

  • JudianneRI

    I’m you think asking for votes on a website designed just for the purpose of vote swapping is cheating? I personally think it is because it gives them an unfair advantage.

    • Snazzywin™

      It depends on the promotion. Some promotions actively encourage participants to post links anywhere and everywhere to gain votes. Most promotions are at least a little specific about where you are allowed to post links for votes. It all comes down to what is written in the official rules. If an entrant stays within the boundaries of the rules for a given promotion, then it’s probably not considered cheating.

      Also, people are asking me if it’s wrong to win multiple times in a game when the rules allow it. If the rules allow multiple wins to the same person, they WANT you to keep playing, so keep playing and hopefully, winning.

      • Jan

        I was just in a voting contest and finished in 3rd. The rules stated that voting sites were not to be used, only FB and Twitter etc. and the other rule was if you had won the previous contest you couldn’t win this contest. I ended up winning because the 1st place guy used a vote exchange, it was way too obvious and the 2nd place girl had won the previous contest. Lesson learned…..READ THE RULES…but I love my new beach cruiser..:)

        • Snazzywin™

          Thanks for the information. Many people will learn from your story that reading the rules and following them has its perks. Congrats on your win!

  • Snazzywin™

    It’s risk vs. reward. Cheating to win a $5 gift card is not worth the risk of being disqualified for a $100,000.00 prize. We had two people instantly win that much cash in the expired Wonka game. When a really big prize is at stake, the administrator will look over that entry with a fine-toothed comb. One big win can wipe away decades of little wins. Can you imagine how devastating it would be to get disqualified for a 100k cash prize?

    Plus, nobody has to cheat to win. People win every day who don’t cheat. It just takes persistence. These cheaters make it seem like a person has to cheat or they can’t win a prize and that simply isn’t true.

  • Happy!

    Persistance not cheating pays!

  • cass young

    I enter a lot of the instant wins for my mother who lives in another state and who does not have a computer. I enter from my computer but with her email address and her physical address. I’ve won several things for her. I hope they do not consider this cheating. I’m not trying to cheat just entering for someone else. What do you think?

    • Snazzywin™

      You should discontinue doing that to be in compliance with the rules. You should only enter for yourself, as the rules state.

  • Tessa G

    This confuses me a little. How does this affect families that like to do sweepstakes and only have one computer?
    My mom and I enter from the same computer and sometimes I will enter for her if she is too busy to. Will this ruin my chances? Neither of us are trying to cheat and she doesn’t always enter all the sweepstakes that I do.

    • Snazzywin™

      If the entrants live in the same household, it’s usually no problem to use the same computer as long as the promotion rules allow for multiple entrants from the same household. There are promotions that are “one entry per household” and only one person from your home should enter those.

      If you live at different addresses, it’s a bad idea to share a single computer and internet connection. If they think you are playing for multiple people, it will result in disqualification, eventually. I’ve heard of a husband and wife playing on the same computer and they got disqualified for a big prize, but that’s extreme. Usually, spouses entering the same promotions is okay within the rules. If in doubt, read the official rules. Keep in mind, they can disqualify you for any reason and it says so in the rules. My advice; don’t give them a reason.

      • I’ve been entering sweeps online for a long time (almost 13 years) with several wins in my pocket.

        Regarding the “household” issue, I’ve always viewed it as the IRS does. Multiple parties can live at the same address, but act as separate households. To me, a household, is an entity within an address that maintains their own support level. When I lived with my parents, they did not support me. I paid rent and my own bills, I just lived in their house. The same can apply to roommate situations.

        If the rules specifically state one entry per address, that’s different, but it’s rare, if ever, that I see that.

        • Snazzywin™

          In Official Rules, “household” means “same address”. It only matters how the sweepstakes administrator looks at it and if they choose to enforce their rules, which they are choosing to do more and more.

          This information is meant to help prevent people from being disqualified. Many people are breaking the rules in these promotions, unknowingly and it could wind up costing them a big prize. I’ve had people asking for help getting their prizes from sponsors only to be told they were disqualified. It’s unfortunate, but when an entrant breaks the rules of a promotion, there’s nothing that can be done. The administrator or sponsor has the final say.

  • Nicky

    Same for me, I do my IWG in the morning. When I go to work, my mom who is now addicted to IWG do hers when I leave for work. She stay next door but dont have a computer. She only knows how to do the simple IWG. She’s 73…

  • julieg

    I won at least two prizes that I didn’t know I won. A $50 visa gift card and a $100 Saks gift card. I wondered how that happened.

    As far as not receiving prizes, I did have to call subway for a playstation and Hershey for a grill and a GPS. Subway took a while – but finally sent the prize. The Hershey people were very nice – and sent me an email the same day stating that the prizes were not available – but that they’d send me a check for the total of both prizes – which they did promptly. At any rate, I mention this because I am not sure if I would’ve received anything had I not called.

    • Snazzywin™

      Maybe this information is unclear: Entrants should never assume they’ve been disqualified just because they haven’t received a prize. Once in awhile, winners will need to contact the companies about prize fulfillment when it’s clear that too much time has passed since the end date of the promotion or other winners have already received their prizes. Mistakes do happen with prize fulfillment, but most companies, when contacted, get prizes out to legitimate winners who haven’t received their prizes.

  • julieg

    Snazzy – I want to thank you for creating this site! Prior to finding you, I would create a list and copy and paste from it each day. This took so much time – that I would end up not doing all of them each day. But since finding you, I’ve won so many prizes!

    Thanks again!

    • Snazzywin™

      Glad to hear you’re winning! That’s what it’s all about.

      TIP: In Late Spring/Summer there are typically more instant win games to play than any other time of the year. Also, a lot of regulars miss days during this time period and it makes your odds of winning a bit better than usual.

  • hit_me_with_a_prize

    This is an excellent blog post. Very well written, Snazzy! Just got back from my vacation so I’m in it again!! xD

  • cart2260

    I usually enter IWG from a library computer or on the computer at the hotel where my son works. Many different people use these computers on a daily basis and it’s possible that some of them are also entering IWG. So I don’t know how that would work if some of these companies are tracing the computer’s IP address.

    • Snazzywin™

      So few people have ever even heard of an instant win game, I wouldn’t worry about using a public access network. Also, most public access networks (WiFi hotspots) identify themselves as such in an IP trace.

  • cart2260

    There must have been some disqualifications in the Coke Zero “March Madness 2012” game. It was the one with all the Buffalo Wild Wings gift certificates. One of my sons got an email today saying that he had won a t-shirt and my other son (they’re both adults) got an email saying that he had won a gym bag. What a nice surprise! Not so nice for whoever got disqualified, though lol.