Thinking 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.