The joys that a new baby bring us often compels us to immortalize every precious moment through pictures and videos, as the infant start his or her journey through life. Sadly, some individual seek to capitalize on this joy by crafting cunning photo contest scams. While there are legitimate baby photo contests online, there are also many that seek to steal sensitive information from you. If you’ve received an email invitation for a baby photo contest that just seems too good to be true, there some things to look out for that could help you avoid being scammed.
Their True Intent:
Baby photo contest scam are “phishing” attempts, where the scammer blindly fishing for information. The scammer may send out hundreds of thousands of emails without knowledge of whether the owner of the email address has children or whether the address is even valid. By replying to one of these scams, you may be verifying to a scammer that the address they’ve queried is indeed valid. After finding the addresses that are valid, the scammer will likely proceed to flood the validated addresses with more scams and phishing attempts.
Scammers may also use baby photo contest rackets to obtain sensitive financial data from you, requesting your banking or credit information in order to send your entry’s reward to you. Legitimate baby photo contest will never request financial data or extensive amount of personal data. You may also find yourself being led off track by these scams, as they may prevent you with numerous other offers or surveys that must be completed before you baby’s entry is complete. These additional offers and survey will generally phish for more sensitive information from you.
Other baby photo contest scams are just a front for getting you to purchase something at an inflated value. For example, entry into the contest may require purchase of a photo book containing all the pictures entered into the contest.
So How do I Know it’s a Scam?
The guarantee of money or other rewards are a sure sign that you’ve been invited to partake in a scam. As nice as it sounds and as cute as your baby may be, no true contest would pay you for simply entering it. The scam may use physical addresses and assure you that you may unsubscribe at anytime, but the best way to avoid being scammed it to avoid online baby photo contest all together. If you’re so compelled to enter the contest, vet it thoroughly through a online search engine and read as many reports from other entrants as you can. Most legitimate contests will be associated with a well known merchant, so you can verify authenticity through the merchant’s web site.