Saturday, August 25, 2007

Winners & Scammer Announcement

The winners of the RW: Quince giveaway are:

Heather

Gutterball

Sherri

Winners, please send your full name and ship-to address to LynnViehl@aol.com, and I'll get your winnings out to you.

I've been expecting to be hit for quite a while, but up until recently I've not had a problem with scammers entering my contests and giveaways. In this case, the scammer is one person who pretends to be six or twelve or thirty by setting up false blog profiles, and uses all of the identities to enter one contest or giveaway and increase their odds of winning. Often scammers work in small groups, too, sharing information with like-minded cheats and pooling their resources. Usually an author finds out they're being contest-scammed after a growing percentage of their winners all appear to be living at the same address or next door to each other.

Listen, I'm not interested in exposing anyone or pointing fingers. Nor am I going to come up with any sort of complicated registration or validation process for my giveaways. And no way are scammers going to stop me from holding giveaways and contests. What I will do is put comments back on moderation and start deleting suspicious-looking entries as they come in. I will also make a list of suspicious-looking identities and profile addies and send it to every other author I know, and ask them to do the same to all the authors they know.

However, if you would like a free book, and are willing to play fair, you're welcome to enter any giveaway or contest here -- just quit cheating and enter only once, like everyone else does. I give away a lot of books here at PBW, so odds are pretty good that you'll win one. And think of how much better you'll feel about yourself if you win it fairly.

24 comments:

  1. Sheesh, I can't understand why someone would go to all that trouble..if I wanted it that bad..just go out and buy it.

    The contests are just a fun things. If it's something I find interesting but don't win, it makes me look for it the next time I'm at the bookstore. Or ready to download.

    I hate to think being scammed is the price you pay for being rich and famous, lol.

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  2. Congrats to the winners.

    And hugs to you for having to deal with people like that. I can attest that you can win. I have. And on just one entry each time :).

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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  3. Yeah. So there... nyah!

    Oh, oh! Congrats to winners, enjoy your well-earned prizes.

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  4. Bravo!
    I've won one of your giveaways too, and perfectly fairly. I felt elated and honoured.

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  5. Can't we all just hire a bus and go out and run the scammers over?

    Scamming a free giveaway contest on the Internet? Sheesh! Like stealing from the Salvation Army...

    Shame on you, scammers. Shame on you.

    Cool to see the professionalism on your part, here, PBW.

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  6. Contest scammers?

    This explains the frosty reception from Ottakars online when my husband then I won their weekly competition in quick succession.

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  7. I'm with Valerie...I just don't understand the point of it.
    It's an insult to your generosity, too.

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  8. Glad to see I'm not the only one who had this problem with a contest -- we're giving away a bag o' books, and I got ten comments, all sounding alike ("great contest! Love your blog!") with brand new blogger identities and no blogs.

    Sheesh... needless to say, they've been disqualified. In the rules, we clearly state that you must include email addresses or blog addresses in your entries.

    But why-oh-why do people do that? It's books, people, not the Powerball. I bet the even cheat at solitaire.

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  9. yeah, i've got one particular scammer who is annoying the hell out of me.

    She thinks that there is no way of knowing who she is or that writers aren't very bright and we can't figure it out.

    I've been ditching my scammer out of contests for a while.

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  10. Feh. Pathetic. Explains why on contest days the number of commenters on some blogs goes way way up. The Knight Agency does a Friday contest and yesterday was the most comments I'd ever seen there. Some people... I tell ya.

    Congrats to the legimate winners. =oD

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  11. I run my contest via my website, and it emails me each entry with the IP address of the entrant. They have to provide a valid email address if they want an entry number, which cuts out all the fake stuff and the dupes, and if I get half a dozen in a row from ma, pa and the kids they all need different email addresses.
    Have to admit, I've rarely seen anyone trying to rort the thing, but then the prize maybe isn't that big a deal.

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  12. Buffysquirrel wrote: This explains the frosty reception from Ottakars online when my husband then I won their weekly competition in quick succession.

    They probably suspected you were the same person. :) I will seize on your comment to add that I don't have a problem with couples or family members with the same or close-to-each-other address entering my give aways; we've got a few married couples and families who stop in here regularly. I know all of them, and have for yearss, and despite their close relationships all have distinct personalities and make unique entries. That's why scammers are so easy to spot -- it's hard to fake being different people. Unless you're a professional at it, like me. :)

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  13. Scammers for a book giveaway. Pulleeeze. That's almost pathetic. Lynn--kudos to you for keeping this blog and your contests safe for the rest of us.

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  14. Anonymous10:09 AM

    I appreciate the tone you strive to achieve with your blog and giveaways, PBW.

    Sorry to hear the scammers have arrived.

    That stinks.

    Rebecca

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  15. I saw two of your recent winners names posted, and recognized them as scammers we deal with a lot with the contests we manage at Access Romance. We do keep all of our authors informed when we get the multiple names, one IP, one mailing addy entries.

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  16. Ugh, what suckage.

    Congrats to the winners!

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  17. Thanks, Lynn! My addy is on its way to you now.

    Woohoo!

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  18. Shawn Hansen11:54 AM

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been a lurker for awhile here, and as such, I haven’t entered a contest. (It didn't seem fair to me—go figure.)

    I had to ring in on this one; however, primarily because I am a college English teacher, and this hits so close to home.

    Here’s a quick cheat story from my summer session: student A (morning class) and student B (afternoon class) are friends. Students A and B regularly copy work from one another thinking their teacher can’t tell two writers apart. Student A has left her reading journal with student B for purposes of copying, but the teacher holds a spontaneous collection. (Gasp!) Student A madly text-messages student B, and gets cautioned by teacher for text-messaging in class. Student A leaves class about fifteen minutes later (presumably to use the restroom), and on her return, she attempts to hide her reading journal behind her back. Students A and B continue to believe their teacher is an idiot.

    What is wrong with people?

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  19. Woot! And scammers suck. Can't think find anything better to do?

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  20. Anonymous6:56 PM

    Congrats all winners!

    Happy reading!

    Geesh I can't believe that people will stoop that low even to win contests on blogs!

    Terri W.

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  21. People always try to buck the system. My blog comment viewer shows IP addies right there next to the username. So far, the regulars at tamboblog are all real, individual folks. Not that I give much stuff away, mind you. ;)

    FWIW, I also haven't had any trouble with spammers like I've seen on some blogs. My forums, however, are another story and spammer-crap gets deleted as soon as its spotted. Like anyone who hangs out on my forums wants to see nekkid Britney pics! Geesh!

    No matter where I am on the internet, I'm just me. Bill and the kid don't read your blog, let alone enter contests. lol

    Hey, did you hapeen to get my email from earilier this week? If so, is it a 'go' or a 'no'? I'm trying to finalize details.

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  22. Okay, that really sucks. I was shocked when I won. I jump on from all over the place, work, home, my hubby's PC. Every time I sign in as Jessica D. Russell or Jessica Russell. I'm really really sorry you're getting hit with scammers. That sucks. Thank you for letting us know. And I hope they stop being idiots.

    For the English Prof...I teach for the DoD and you wouldn't BELIEVE some of the cheating methods I've seen used. The amount of work involved, in some cases, were so intricate it had to have taken DAYS to plan and manipulate. If the effort would have been put forth in STUDYING maybe they wouldn't have had to try so hard to cheat.

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  23. So would it be legitimate to establish e-mail accounts for my 2 dogs to increase my chances of winning, or would that be bad?

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  24. I can't believe it! Is there no place safe from scammers?

    I just created a blog for my pen name today, and have been trying to figure out how to sign in as myself, instead of my pen. But I think I figured it out.

    I appreciate all the knowledge you share with those of us who are seeking a career in writing.

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