How promoters try to stop cheating in online competitions and sweepstakes

May 6th, 2011

People always try to bend the rules.  Others deliberately break them to obtain an unfair advantage. In the world of competitions and sweepstakes, this is bad news.

Not only do genuine entrants like us want to know we are on an even playing field, the law in many jurisdictions mandates that promoters attempt to ensure competitors comply with the rules.

Here are the best ways a promoter can make a competition can be made fair:

  1. Don’t allow email entries to the competition but instead use a web based form system and collect IP addresses as part of the entry process.
  2. Using drop down menus so that auto form-filling software is ineffective.
  3. Limit entry to one per person, or even per household.  This negates (to a large extent) the benefit of using auto form filling software
  4. Disqualifying entrants who make multiple entries to win.
  5. Program the online competition entry form to disallow multiple entries from the same person.
  6. Prohibit the use of automated software as a method of entry.
  7. Chose a winner at random.
  8. Make it is a term that winners will be contacted by email.
  9. Ask winners to complete an affidavit of eligibility (or produce identification) to ensure they have not made multiple entries with fake details,

10.  Prohibit bulk entries.

11.  Prohibit entries by third parties.

12.  Qualify competition entrants by having them answer a random prize question, or play an online game.  This requires entrants to genuinely participate in the competition.  Random competition questions prevent answers being posted on forums or re-used.



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