There is a news story out of Norfolk Ontario today (posted below), and probably many more across the country, where a person was defrauded out of $100,000.00 in a Facebook contest scam.
While most contest are legit, unfortunately there are some major jerks out there who prey on innocent people. I have been blogging and entering contests for over 20 yrs, and have won many prizes along the way and have had hundreds of people tell us about there contest winnings. So we have tons of experience in spotting contest scams, and make sure every contest, freebie and offer we post is legit. Here are some of our biggest tips on keeping yourself safe while entering contests.
Tips on Not Falling For Contest Scams
- Never, ever give or send anyone money to claim a prize. You won it, it’s 100% free to you. Even if they ask you to send money for shipping, don’t it’s a scam.
- Never, ever give anyone your credit card number, banking information or Social Insurance number. There are scammers out there who will tell you that they “need your credit card or Social Insurance number, to secure your prize” this is a scam. They will use it to steal your money or identity.
- Never give out your personal information. The only information they need is your name, mailing address and sometimes phone number so they know where to send your prize. (some shipping companies need your phone number to make sure you are going to be home when your prize is to be delivered)
- Always use a different password than you use for your email and banking, when entering contest. Some contests want you to make an account and use a password, while most are legit contests, some fake contests might use the information to hack your email account where they may find sensitive information, such as banking/Paypal/credit card information.
- This one isn’t contests related, but speaking of Paypal. If you get an email from “Paypal” with a link in it, never click it. If you aren’t sure, just go to Paypal.com or Paypal.ca and if there is something wrong or unusual with your account, the information will be there. Hackers want you to click the fake link (and the emails usually look pretty legit) and enter your Paypal password so they can access your account and steal from you.
If you know of any tips to help keep people safe, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be sure to add them to the list.
Here is the news story I mentioned above (as found on the Heart FM Woodstock website)
Norfolk OPP are investigating after a local resident lost $100,000 in a Facebook scam.
Norfolk OPP are warning the public to be cautious after a local resident was duped out of $100,000.
Police say the scam took place between Apri 3rd and June 5th after the resident was told they had won a lottery on Facebook. The victim was told they needed to forward the money in order to collect their winnings. Over the course of the two months the victim forwarded a total of $100,000 to the scammers.
OPP are once again reminding the public that you will never win a lottery you didn’t enter and you should never have to forward funds to collect a prize.
How the Scam works is a the consumer will receive a message on Facebook that looks like it is from a distant relative or family friend. The scammer sends out mass email messages claiming they saw the consumer’s name on a list as a prize winner in a lottery or sweepstakes. A fee is requested up front but no winnings are ever received.