The Big Let Down
So you’re in a contest. It is based on likes. You get everyone to vote for you and you think to yourself, “I am doing so well”. Maybe you have 200-300 friends and you’ve counted on them for one vote each. Maybe you have a 1000 friends and you get at least 500 votes from them. But then you start getting curious and you check out your competitors’ photos…”What!!!!! 1000 Likes, Impossible!”. You think to yourself, “How can that be?.. Incredulous”. No matter what your reaction is, we’ve all been there and seen it. Maybe you’ve swapped 1 or 2 votes with someone else. Maybe you’ve created a couple of accounts to vote for yourself with. Yet you’re still losing. “Why?..” – you’re starting to feel a little down or let down.
ContestMob, Facebook and the author are not responsible for disqualifications based on utilization of these procedures nor does Facebook, the author or ContestMob endorse this method of contest play. The information here is provided to help you learn to quickly identify others that utilize this style of contesting ethics, and make a decision on how to act/respond to it.
So you want to learn the secrets, of how the cheaters do it? You want to learn, how they get more likes in a short period of time? Well, there are 2 methods that they use.
The first method is the easiest. It involves them finding those, who share a passion for exchanging votes. Exchanging votes is as it sounds. Exchanging a vote one for one with someone who has multiple accounts. Multiple accounts can range from as few as two to as many as 100 or more. These accounts are generally used for the strict purpose of voting for others to inflate their “likes” on a particular picture or comment.
The second method is to create their own multiple Facebook accounts. This is difficult, slow and methodical approach.
Whether they find someone who owns multiple accounts, or they create multiple accounts themselves – it is considered cheating.
More on Creating Fake Facebook accounts
As we all know when anyone creates a Facebook account, the rule is that the name of the Facebook account must be that persons name or they may according to Facebook rules include a first name-nickname-last name account. Creating any other name is a violation of Facebook rules. However, there are some people have actually taken the time to create many alias Facebook accounts. The actual creation of multiple Facebook accounts is painstakingly slow, since they must verify the email address, post pictures, gather friends, etc. Only after all these steps they are ready for exchanging votes with. For this method, they created many email accounts as well, and keep records of each account name with corresponding email addresses.
Looking for Vote Exchange “Customers”
So they’ve created the accounts…now what? Where do they go…again that same question pops up. Well Facebook has a wonderful search tool. All one has to do is search certain key words like Vote, Contest and Exchange. Group pages will appear much like a sponsor page that you may already like. The only difference will be that these are voting groups. Oftentimes, within the page, once they have liked it, they will find people there that are looking for a few simple vote exchanges or one mass exchange. It all depends on what they are looking for and how does their contest organizer feel about this type of behavior. Is it a diligent sponsor who may verify the “likes”. Do they favor a situation where more people have “liked” their Facebook page even though the “likes” may not be a true statistical representation of the actual number of people. Perhaps the organizer just turns a willful blind eye. Maybe the sponsor just doesn’t know. Usually it is the latter and the sponsor doesn’t realize that a lot of people are effectively scamming others out of any chance of a prize.
So let’s just assume for a minute that a person has searched “exchange” on Facebook and a page of “Vote Exchanges” comes up. So the person “likes” the page and enters the room. It is a forum much like any other page and yet the wall has users who have posted 10-100+ pm me or need 20 votes now pm me…what do these mean? These are indicative of persons who have accounts to exchange. They are looking for others with whom they can swap their votes. When the other person sends them a PM it will start the action of exchanging votes.
The Exchange Takes Place
So what happens next? They have found someone that is willing to exchange votes. They have sent the PM and are waiting for a response. Once the message has been received by the other party who originally posted that they have votes to exchange, they will message back that person and ask them to vote or like a certain picture or comment. It is at this time that the other person will send their link too for the other to vote back on theirs. Once this happens, generally an exchange of names takes place as proof that each party has submitted the proper number of votes or voted correctly.
An alternate method that exchangers use instead of swapping names, is liking the comment, but also liking a commenter in the likes section. For example, if they were exchanging 20 votes on a picture, then one of the commenter’s would be clicked 20 times. The reason for this, you may be wondering, is so that the person who wanted the likes can simply go and click on the likes and see who voted and count the number of people that he/she was given.
Trade Vote Exchange Rates
A one-to-one exchange is not always the case. Oftentimes people require votes so desperately that they will exchange a higher number of votes to the other for a few less on their own. For example, a contest may be ending soon. They may need a lot of votes and by reducing their exchange rate to half of the one for one will increase their chances at getting more people to trade with them. Lets say that one persons contest is ending soon. He/she has 100 votes to trade. They post on a forum 100 Votes to trade 50% off now! So essentially what that person is saying is they will give the other person 100 votes if they get 50 back on their own. This is done to get more votes now since doing 100 votes for some is tedious and a big undertaking to many since they need to sign in and sign out of each account. For some contests they even need to clear their computers cache memory in order to vote again. Over your contesting period you will see this time and time again. People suddenly getting lots of votes. How can you tell? Where do you look? What do you do?
How to Catch a Cheater
Catching a cheater is a very complex, skillful art of mastering Facebook. As we looked at previously, one of the more subtle ways is to keep refreshing a page and watching the number of votes go up and by how many. Perhaps you will see a number of thumbs up signs on a comment made which isn’t necessarily required. Maybe you want to see the people who are voting. There are a number of methods that you can do which will certainly flush out cheaters.
When you see a large number of likes on a picture or a comment, simply go to the thumbs up sign and click on who liked this picture/comment. A box of names will come up and most times they will not be your friend(s). You can simply go through each name. As a general rule, people make mistakes. They make mistakes because creating a true account of a real person takes too much time and effort and certainly cheaters cannot take this time to do it that eloquently. Fake accounts can be found all over Facebook. All one has to do is know where to look. You can also Google names and Facebook search the names to get more information on your competitor. As a general rule when I contest I look for five major mistakes cheaters make.
5 Mistakes that Cheaters Make
#1 The liker has nothing on their wall or profile except for the interests of contests
#2 Birthdays are the same as the entrant or a group of “fake” accounts have similar birthdays
#3 Mutual friends all link back to the entrant
#4 Email address is similar on the bottom of the profile
#5 Similar name spelled differently (example Andy, Andrew, Andre)
To Tell or not to Tell
Essentially when you have the proof, the ultimate responsibility of addressing the issue lays with you. Cheaters will always come and go, but the winnings may not if you cannot stop them. So how do you go about informing the sponsor? There are many ways. Gather all the evidence and place all the links of suspicious likers (URL’s to their profiles) in an email to the sponsor outlining why you believe they are cheating. Call the sponsor privately. Send a general message for the sponsor to contact you on the Facebook wall. You can also click on report to Facebook on the bottom left side of a profile page and you can click “Not a real person” in the box. If you stand your ground and say something, cheaters will never win!
Benefits to You or Benefits to the Cheater
If your decision is to be quiet and say nothing, the cheater will win. He/she will pocket whatever prize has been offered and with no one saying anything, why would the sponsor care. They now have amassed a larger database of potential clients. The cheater walks away with a great prize. Maybe it was a prize that you certainly would have earned if you had said something. Cheaters need to learn that this is unfair to everyone else. If you do stand up and stand your ground you may be the winner. You will have stopped a cheater. You will have helped a sponsor to weed out those who are not real persons and of no benefit to the sponsor. You will have assisted other Facebook users to be true winners and not have to deal with the same cheater elsewhere.
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