Avoiding SPAM When Entering (and WINNING) Contests

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March 4, 2013 by Cory

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Often, when I tell people about the random contests that I have entered and the prizes I have won, people assume that there is a tradeoff and that I get unmanageable amounts of texts, e-mails, regular mail, Facebook messages, and phone calls.  While it has the potential to be true, it is rarely ever the case.  I have listed a few tips of how to avoid Spam when entering contests below:

E-mails:  In almost every case of entering contests, I have used an e-mail address.  Sometimes, to confirm it is a real e-mail address, you need to verify this by clicking a link in an e-mail.  I found that this is the easiest way to get plenty of unwanted e-mails, so I chose to create a separate e-mail address for the occasion of entering contests.  When I win a contest, I often receive an e-mail titled “Congratulations!” or “You won!!”  I usually open any e-mails I receive and click UNSUBSCRIBE should it be a random Spam e-mail from entering a contest.  Then, I won’t hear from that company again (unless I want to).

Facebook:  This is a bit trickier as I would prefer not to have hundreds of fan pages simply because I “liked” them to be entered into contests, so I chose to use my new e-mail address to register for a linked Facebook account.  I only use this Facebook account to enter Facebook Sweepstakes (click here to see a previous blog post related to this topic).

Phone Calls:  While contests often ask for a phone number, about 90% of the time, you will only receive a phone call in the case that you actually win something.  Luckily, I have a home phone that I only use for outgoing calls (while all incoming calls go to my cell phone).  This is perfect to receive contest phone calls; whenever I receive a voicemail, I know that the odds are, I won something!

Texts:  As we are now in a time that text contests are becoming more and more common, I usually will enter one without thinking twice, but if I find myself receiving more than the occasional text (and luckily, I have unlimited text messaging on my phone plan), then I can always choose to stop the incoming texts by texting STOP.

Regular Mail:  This is the one type of Spam that I really don’t worry about.  If I do get regular mail that is considered Spam, I do not recognize it often.  Rather, I will just toss any junk mail that I receive.  It’s that easy.

The moral of the story is that the Spam mail or junk mail received through texts, phone, regular mail, e-mail, and Facebook could be a pain, but often is not an issue if you plan accordingly or are prepared for it.  It is definitely still worth entering contests if you have the time to do so!

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