How to stop contest fraud ruining your campaign?


You just kicked off this great campaign and got everyone excited about how much exposure and traffic it is going to generate.

Your campaign asks customers, prospects and friends to come in and share and vote for their favourite video, image or other content that helps promote your brand or cause.

This is going to be great for your company and at the same time elevate your position as an innovative thinker.

All seems to be going great until you notice that the votes you are receiving are really starting to spike. While at first you have a feeling of elation that quickly turns to panic as you see some unusual behaviour with the voting. You then realise your campaign is being targeted by fraudsters trying to elevate the position of specific entries for either personal gain or just for purely malicious intentions.

So what do you do, or more importantly how do I stop or at least minimise this happening in the first place?

Well, first things first. Unfortunately, you are never going to be able to eliminate the risk of fraudsters submitting rubbish votes. However, there are steps you can take to stop them from ruining your campaign.

Here are some tips which we have found to help deter or reduce fraudulent votes from happening.

Make it clear that fraud votes will be removed

Always make it clear from the outset that you will be monitoring votes coming in and that votes that are suspected to be fraudulent may at your sole discretion be removed and that disqualification of the entry can result.

Don’t set public votes as the sole winning selection criteria

This is a big one. If you are providing a big prize to your winner(s) you will always want to have a final say in who should win the prize. For this reason we always recommend that public voting should be only one of the winner(s) selection criteria and not the sole one. Other engagement metrics can be used such as views, plays, shares, etc. Also consider setting up internal judging panels which will also play a part in selecting the winner(s).

By making this obvious on your contest site will discourage fraudsters from putting in dummy votes if it is not going to have a significant impact on the result.

Run multiple rounds