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How to spot a valid competition from a marketing ploy in disguise

There are so many competitions out there, it can be difficult to know which ones are the best to enter. Most importantly, you want to make sure you’re putting in effort for a good reason, and not just unwittingly sharing your data and hard work with someone who might exploit it.

If you’re searching for competitions online, here are some tips to make sure they’re legitimate and safe to enter.


See who’s running it


Take a look at the company or organisation behind the competition. If it’s someone you’ve never heard of, read through their website to find out who they are, what they do, and where they’re based.

For example, the Tax, Super + You competition is run by the ATO – so it’s pretty safe to say this is a valid competition to enter.


Read the terms and conditions


Any reputable competition should have a list of terms and conditions that you can read before submitting an entry. We know they’re long and boring, but they can contain some really important information, including things like who can access any personal information you share.

Read the terms and conditions carefully and see if there’s anything that seems iffy or makes you unsure.


Check what they want from you


You’ll probably need to provide some identifying information to enter a competition – basic things like your name, and maybe what year you’re in at school and what state you’re from. But be wary if they’re asking for a lot of info, particularly things like payment information.

While a small entry fee can be normal, if they’re asking for exorbitant amounts of money to enter, this could be a red flag. And you should never have to pay extra to receive your prize if you win.


If you’re still unsure, ask


If you’ve done all of the above and you’re still on the fence, you can always ask someone else for help. Get a trusted friend, teacher, or parent to take a look and see what they think. Do a Google search of the competition or company and see if there are any reviews or warnings out there – a little bit of extra research might go a long way.


Keen to enter a competition? We’ve got lots of opportunities on our (fully researched!) Competitions Database here.


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