January 23rd, 2020 | Competitions
Of course, like every other business we get a lot of spam e-mail (despite all sorts of protection and filters!). Some of these mails are simply annoying, others malicious, requesting that we click onto some spurious link, and then finally, there are the scams. These arrive in many different guises, some quite sophisticated whilst others are downright stupid and obvious. For example, the classic – winning $10 million for a lottery that you never entered!
One of the latest scams, that I receive quite regularly now, is for wine competitions….. Someone has finally twigged that wine competitions are big business, and that there is a lot of money to be made. The problem is the way that it has been done. Quite unconvincing invitations with scant detail, requesting that we pay only 1 Euro deposit to enter, and then pay a full fee after we receive the result. My belief is, of course, that anyone stupid enough to enter, will almost certainly be guaranteed to win an award!
The format is just a simple text e-mail, and thereby lies the second mistake. These invitations arrive in groups, and within a period of 24 hours we will receive invitations for China, Singapore and Japan, all using an identical mail, with only the names and addresses changed in each one. The sponsoring publications for these competitions are quite obvious false – “Shanghai Paper, Singapore Newspaper and Business News Japan”. They don’t even bother to create convincing names!
In a second group of mails, we will receive invites for the UK and USA. This time for the “London Newspaper and America Wines Paper”. Not at all convincing.
Oh, and by the way, the wine samples for EVERY competition, regardless of the country, are apparently gathered in one place…. in Paris. Seems like someone in Paris could be enjoying a big party with free wine!