Monday, June 27, 2022

Is this Giveaway A Scam? Figuring out if a Contest is Legit on Facebook or Instagram

 So how do you know if the giveaway you see posted on Facebook or Instagram is a scam?  One of the first clues is to see if it is the legitimate business running it.

For instance, this is the REAL Disney Parks Facebook page.

What do you notice?  I see a few things:

  • The verified by Facebook checkmark
  • Everything is spelled correctly
  • TONS of people like the page. 
What do you often see when it's not the legit page?

  • There will be no blue checkmark
  • Check spelling.  Many times there will be an extra I or a period in the name, such as Diisney Parks  ~or~ Disney Parks. 
  • The page will often be new with few followers.
The same thing with those giveaways of cars where they will say things like "Our last winner was under 18, so we're doing this again.  Like and share our page for a chance to win.

There will often be no rules.  Florida, New York, Rhode Island, and Quebec have very unique laws regarding sweepstakes and for those giveaways to be open to those states, they would have to be bonded by the attorney general of those states (or Providence).  Also, rules protect the sponsor.  You have to sign wavers if you win a car, trip or RV that if you are in a wreck in the car you won that you will not sue the company that gave you the prize.  If you win a prize of over $599 or an alcohol prize, you will often have to sign paperwork saying you are of the age required to win (21+ for alcohol) and give your social security number for taxes if you won a prize of $600 or more.  Companies DO sent 1099-MISC to the government and your prizes ARE taxable. 

In the same way, if you enter a giveaway on Twitter or Instagram and someone slides into your DMs saying you won, look for the blue check mark.  You NEVER have to click a link or give out credit card information to win a prize.  Chime often gives away great prizes, but once you enter, tons of accounts like Chiime, Prize_Notification_Account, You-Won, and the like will start messaging you and giving you a link to click to "prove your eligibility" (In reality what will happen is likely identity theft and/or draining your bank account.) 

Also, remember you can't win if you don't enter.  I once received a phone call saying I had won a prize.  I asked how I had won, and I was told I used my "Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover".  I was then asked if I had one of those cards.  I said, "If I really won something you could tell me that."  (Of course I knew all of those are different companies and would not have a joint sweepstakes, that would be like McDonalds and Burger King teaming up.). The woman got really mad and said, "I don't have time for this childishness" and hung up on me.  That was the easiest way I ever got rid of a scammer!  :) 

There are thousands of legitimate giveaways out there, and I win several every month and have for the last 20+ years, but be wary of scams.  

Click here to join my FREE Facebook group where I list giveaways.

Also be sure and check out my other similar blog posts:
How to Win Sweepstakes and Contests
How to Win a Skill Contest
How to Win a Voting Contest
How to Win in Twitter Parties
How to Win Blog Giveaways
Where to Find Sweepstakes to Enter
What to do when you win a prize.
Should You Keep the News of Winning a Contest Prize a Secret or Tell Everyone?
Are People who Win Prizes Just Lucky Ducks?
Entering Sweepstakes and Public Assistance Like SSI and and Disability
The Best Books about Entering and Winning Sweepstakes
Are you Pressing the Lever on McDonalds Monopoly?

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