As writers, we have to come up with different ways to market our work, build a following, encourage action and all that jazz. One of the ways can be with giveaways. Giveaways can be great, from something small to something large, you get to reward your follwers/readers/fans.
But there can be issues because there are so many people out there always looking to screw up your day. So this article is about giveaway scams when YOU are running a giveaway! (but to be fair, can be useful for all those who ENTER giveaways too!)
As I mentioned, giveaways are a great addition to your marketing plan – even before you are published, rewarding your followers/subscribers with the chance to win something is a nice treat. It also helps engagement which is a good bonus.
You can announce giveaways in your newsletter, on your website and on social media especially on Instagram and Tiktok, these always seem to do well.
Giveaways can give you a chance to gain more exposure, more followers and spread the word about your work. A common one on Instagram is asking those wish to enter the giveaway to follow, like and share the giveaway post. Doing this gets the person into the giveaway and gives you more exposure and activity on your page.
But there’s a dark side to giveaways…
Sadly, as I said earlier, there is a minority of assholes who make it their job to screw with your hard work. There has been an upsurge in giveaway scammers – especially on Instagram and Tiktok.
This is how it goes:
You create a giveaway and announce it on your chosen platforms. Maybe you ask people to like, follow and share. Maybe you ask them to comment and/or tag in someone else who might want to be in the giveaway too.
Whatever it is, people are added to your giveaway draw.
Now, the scammer creates a fake account with your name/handle (usually with a small difference such as adding a letter, number or a mis-spell) they then use your avatar and reach out to all those people who left you comments (these comments show the scammer just who’s in the giveaway).
The scammer DM’s them stating they won and to either “click this link” or “enter your card details” to claim their prize. People see your avatar, your handle (don’t always notice the slight difference) and they click the link – which is bad or they enter their card details – even worse.
Now you have innocent people who have been scammed, your name has been tarnished and you may decide never to do a giveaway again.
…all because scammers are bastards.
What Can You Do?
Firstly, knowing about these kind of scams can help – so spread the word.
Next, in your video/post/graphic that announces the giveaway make it SUPER CLEAR to everyone that you will NEVER ask for their card details or send them a link.
Don’t just put that info on one place – if your giveaway is listed on multiple places. Don’t just add it to the caption (that people don’t always read), do what you can to add it to the main part of the post (eg the video or the image). People are more likely to read it if it’s in the graphic.
State you will announce the actual winners on your platform not just in a DM.
Ask your readers/followers to be aware of possible scams and fake accounts and if they come across any to:
a) inform you immediately
b) report the fake account
The more people are aware of these types of scams, the better it is to keep people safe from them.
It may be easy to think “oh no one would fall for that!” but people do and in the end, it’s not the fault of the person who fell for it, it’s the fault of the scammer who is out there trying to steal people’s money/details etc. Let’s keep each other safe out there.
I hope you found this article useful! If you did, give it a share in case someone else could benefit!
Have you come across these scams?