How to spot a Facebook ‘comper’

So, ‘compers’, they’re a thing.

And they’re coming soon to a Facebook competition near you. Last week we ran a couple of Facebook Father’s Day competitions on behalf of clients. And got some lovely heartfelt responses.

But, when we looked closely at the entries, we found some of the same stories repeated word for word. And a sizeable number of their Facebook feeds were filled with wall-to-wall competitions – with not one personal post amongst them. Which set off alarm bells.

Whether online or in print, ‘comping’ is a career for some people. In fact the internet is filled with advice on how to do it – the theory being that by entering hundreds of competitions, you statistically increase your chances of winning.

Comping is not a crime in itself. But there is a more insidious underbelly to comping. There are those who adopt fake identities (complete with fake networks of family and friends) to try and play the system. And some of them are REALLY convincing.

One comper even warned us about, well, compers. A double-bluff if you like. Facebook contest fraud is a sad social media reality, with prizes sometimes falling into the hands of scheming scammers, instead of deserving winners. Not only that, it can be damaging to your page’s credibility. Fake fans are no good to anyone.

So, what can you do about it?

1. Make sure you have robust T&Cs in place.

Explain how the winner will be chosen and clearly list reasons for disqualification. If it’s a local competition, stipulate that the prize must be collected in person, with photo ID. Make it watertight.

2. Do some detective work.

Once you’ve chosen a potential winner, check out their Facebook page. If it’s full of competitions and they have hardly any followers, that’s your first red flag.

3. Be wary of tagging that looks out of place.

Some scammers work in collaboration with other scammers. If there’s a random tag with no reference point, it could be there to alert others in their tagging ‘ring’.

4. Be niche.

Make the prize something that genuine fans and prospects would be interested in – if possible something that doesn’t appeal to the masses. Same goes if there’s a quiz attached to the competition. If a scammer has to do too much homework to enter, they may not bother.

5. Hone in on your audience.

The broader your audience, the more likely you are to attract scammers. Targeting clients, customers and interest groups keeps it tight.

If you need any help detecting the fakers then contact us, we’d love to chat.

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