How to Prevent Fraud in Your Next Online Contest

online contest fraud

We’re going to be launching the first of many contests soon to attract more visitors to our email newsletters. While we have extensive development resources, there’s no way we’re going to be developing the contest ourselves. We’re going to utilize Hellowave, a contest provider online. Why? The primary reason:


I’ll be honest and totally admit that I’ve cheated in an online contest. Years ago, we had a regional social media contest to find the most popular man and woman in town. After I viewed the source of the contest page, I quickly figured out that I could add a vote just by going to a specific URL that was embedded in the code. The developer of the contest thought he was being clever and simply blocked anyone coming from the same IP address.

So, I added an iframe on my site that pointed to my voting link. Everyone that opened my page that day inadvertently voted for me. Throughout the day I would check the voting scores and just remove the iframe whenever I got way ahead on the votes.

Before you judge me, I came clean before winning the contest. I wrote the developer and let him know that I cheated. And then I spoke at the event about how easy it was to cheat in online contests. Chances are that if you have your developers whip up an online contest, you’re going to open the doors to cheating. I’ve viewed hundreds of online contests and I’m amazed at how many use these simple methods that welcome cheaters.

Online contests work through embedded site widgets and social applications have extensive features that prevent fraud. Of course, they also help you optimize the contests, use them across digital mediums, and measure the response.

This infographic from EasyPromos walks through three practices that lead to fraud in online contests:

  1. The use of multiple accounts and vote automation software.
  2. Online vote buying.
  3. Using stolen accounts, via phishing, to cast votes.

Easypromos provides a comprehensive tool with 11 security controls for monitoring and preventing fraud in your voting contests. You’ll also have access to the Fraud Index – a tool that will inform you if a user has committed fraud, enabling you to determine the validity of his/her entry. The Easypromos Fraud Control System will help you to detect and prevent bad practices; avoid disputes between participants; and organize transparent and fair voting contests for your community.

How to Protect Your Next Content from Fraud

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