Slam Prize Scams, a new consumer-facing campaign designed to highlight fraudulent competitions and prize draws, takes place over the week from 19th to 25th September 2016.
Launched by prize promotion experts Spark & Fuse, the campaign aims to raise consumer awareness of the dangers of prize scams, which include not just financial loss but identity theft, and to educate people about how to tell the difference between real prize promotions and scams.
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 have won legitimate prize draws. There will also be social media activity using the hashtag #slamprizescams
“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.
Spark & Fuse specialises in prize draws and competitions, from concept to completion. Its clients have included Tesco, Coca-Cola, the British Council and Uber, as well as leading UK marketing agencies. Spark & Fuse director Sarah Burns sits on the board of the Institute of Promotional Marketing.