Don't be a victim of prize scams

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Slam Prize Scams is a campaign to raise awareness of fake prize draws and show consumers how to spot the scams. Initiated by Spark & Fuse, Slam Prize Scams runs from 19th to 25th September 2016.

"The Slam Prize Scams campaign is about telling people what to do to avoid the very real dangers of prize scams." Sarah Burns, Spark & Fuse

Anyone can be a victim of a prize scam, as Steven Short discovered. Steven clicked on a Facebook story about a dog, but was taken to a quiz to win a £100 high street store voucher instead. He got the questions right and was told he needed a prize claim code. He duly filled in his mobile number, got the code and keyed it in. He then received another message telling him he had joined a competitions club and would be charged £4.50 per week. He texted STOP immediately, but his text bounced back. With persistence he eventually managed to unsubscribe, but when he checked his mobile phone bill he found he’d still lost money. Unsurprisingly, he never received the voucher.

Slam Prize Scams, a week-long campaign, running from 19th to 25th September, is designed to highlight fraudulent competitions and draws, such as the one Steven Short fell for. An initiative launched by prize promotion experts Spark & Fuse, it aims to raise awareness of the dangers of prize scams, which include not just financial loss but identity theft, and to educate consumers about how to tell the difference between real prize promotions and scams.

“If you’re the victim of a prize scam it can be devastating,” says Sarah Burns, director of Spark & Fuse. “It’s not just the fact that you’ve lost money, although the sums can be significant, but you feel acutely embarrassed, and that can have a real negative emotional impact.”

The elderly and vulnerable can be particularly susceptible. According to the National Trading Standards Scams Team, vulnerable adults who are the victims of fraudulent prize promotions in their own homes are 2.5 times more likely to go into residential care. In some cases victims consider or attempt suicide.

Scams come in various guises, including phone and postal scams, social media shares, phishing (masquerading as a legitimate organisation in order to obtain sensitive data), lotteries and social engineering (when people are psychologically manipulated to divulge confidential information). According to the National Trading Standards Scams Team, these scams could be costing the UK economy up to £10 billion a year.

During the Slam Prize Scams campaign, Spark & Fuse will be sharing case studies, checklists and advice from consumer protection agencies. Spark & Fuse will also be working with promoters to improve the way winners are notified when they’ve won legitimate prize draws.

Further information
For more information about the Slam Prize Scams campaign or fraudulent prize scams, including interview requests, please email bright.sparks(at)sparkandfuse(dot)com
Social media activity via #slamprizescams

About Spark & Fuse
Spark & Fuse is a service agency specialising in prize draws and competitions from concept to completion. Recognised as experts, particularly in the field of compliance, it advises on CAP code good practice, manages the entry process for competitions and prize draws, selects and verifies winners and sources and fulfils prizes for a wide range of clients and brands. Spark & Fuse director, Sarah Burns, is on the board of the Institute of Promotional Marketing and is chairperson for a number of industry awards. Please see

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Sarah Burns
Spark & Fuse
+44 2075023005 Ext: 2
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since: 10/2010
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