Earlier in the month we asked if it was time to ban automated competition entry services. These services are run by companies that get paid to enter competitions on behalf of people too lazy to visit websites and enter prize draws themselves. The entrant pays a monthly subscription and that’s it. They never visit a promoter’s website and in some cases don’t even know what prize they’re entering for.
Up to now we’ve said watch IP addresses and install CAPTCHA.
This may not be enough!
Thanks to the excellent and vigilant Chocolate Reviews we’re now able to provide competition organisers more information regarding what to watch for when it comes to automated competition entry services.
One entry service uses a variety of email address that include the following domains wonandron.co.uk, shortsmail.co.uk, freggnet.co.uk, wormail.co.uk, prainnet.org.uk, kreahnet.org.uk, rackernet.org.uk and runracemail.org.uk.
All these accounts are registered to “Travelresearch Ltd”!
More importantly all are on the nameserver ns1.iphh.de – coincidentally the same nameserver as an automated entry competition service that originated in Germany, and the same nameserver other domains (such as 00online) that are associated with automated entries reside on too.
So far, Chocolate Reviews have received up to 2500 automated entries to their competition to win a four layer Pierre Marcolini Chocolate Selection Box. It’s fantastic to know that a site is monitoring their entries, and even better to know they’re disqualifying them too.
But, more sites need to do this!
Competition organisers need to be checking their entries and using clever tactics (such as rotating questions, adding social media elements to the competition mechanic etc) to spot automated competition entry services. 2500 new email addresses added to your mailing list might be great, but it’s 2500 emails of people who don’t know who you are, never visited your site and never even entered the competition themselves!
We urge everyone who has run or who has ran a competition recently to check through their entries. Look for entries stemming from the same domains (especially those listed above), perhaps even the same IPs. Then decide if you’re happy with those people – who never visit your site – winning prizes designed to promote your company.
If you’re happy with automated competition entry services populating your competitions then please let us know – so that we can tell our users not to waste their time visiting your site.
If you’re unhappy also let us know, so we can tell our users you’re a vigilant website like Chocolate Reviews and that you want your prizes going to people who have made the effort to enter your prize draw themselves.
We’re happy for other competition sites to publish this information, but please reference this blog and Loquax.