Just say “no” to cheating

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Don’t cheat on blogs

Cheating is bad, mmmkay?

I try to run a tight ship around here at Eighty MPH Mom, but it’s really cramping my style to have to monitor the cheating. To those of you who are honest and actually take the time to enter correctly, I bow down to you. For the others, I am posting this as a refresher course. Remember, the more time I have to spend on cheaters and people who don’t follow directions, the less time I have to post awesome giveaways. Here goes:

One entry per household/IP address:
This goes for every, single giveaway. Every time. I do check IP addresses and if you are entering as yourself, your spouse, your second cousin once removed, your fish, or whatever, it is just a matter of time until you are busted.

Leave links to your tweets and Facebook shares:
Saying you tweeted, without leaving your twitter ID and/or link to your tweet does me no good at all. If you are unsure how to get the link from your tweet, here is how: Right click on the “seconds” ago that you tweeted (3 seconds ago, etc.). Right click and choose “copy link address”. Come back here, right click and choose “paste”. Viola! It will become second nature after you do it a few times. You can do the same on Facebook. When I offer an extra entry for sharing on Facebook, please leave a link to my blog. I know there have been some issues lately in doing this (on Facebook), but if you can’t post a link there, at least choose @EightyMPHMom in your Facebook post, so others can actually find my giveaway. Then come back and leave the link in a comment, saying you shared on Facebook.

Verify your email subscription:
In going through my email subscribers today, I was floored to see how many haven’t verified their subscriptions to Eighty MPH Mom. You must do this step to actually be subscribed.

Following on Google Friend Connect:
Leave your Google Friend Connect name!

Retweeting:
I do allow retweets, but only once per day {unless otherwise noted – this is rare though}.

Extra entries for commenting on non-giveaway posts:
Comment on the actual non-giveaway post. THEN come back to the giveaway, saying that you commented on such and such post.

 

Us bloggers are pretty good detectives. Don’t test us. We check IP addresses, email addresses, user names, we cross-reference and we do a whole bunch of other things behind the scenes to make sure we eliminate cheaters. Did you know that when we click on an IP address in our comments it pulls up all entries from that IP address? Yep, and then we compare further. I am especially on the lookout after discovering two cheaters in the past two days. Other bloggers are aware also, and there have been several posts about people cheating on their blogs too. It is just a matter of time before you get caught. So please, pretty please, with sugar on top – just don’t do it.

I know many of us love to host giveaways, and it’s exciting to tell someone they have won. It is simply not fair for one person to enter as a bunch of different people (which increases their odds). It isn’t fair at all to those who have spent their time making sure they have entered correctly and honestly.

I want to THANK the entrants who make my life so much easier by being honest and reading directions. Good luck!

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About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!

67 Comments

  1. Jennifer,

    I wrote you via my personal e-mail earlier today. I have not heard back from you. This issue with ‘cheating’ got brought up by Leslie from ‘Leslie Loves Veggie’ earlier today. I spoke with her earlier this afternoon as she @mentioned myself and my sister claiming we were ‘cheaters’ and then deleted it. She was visiting for a few days and entered I think 2 or 3 giveaways using my computer while she was over.

    My sister, Cortney, taught me about giveaways and it is a fun hobby for us both. Neither of us had any intention of causing the confusion apparently that has caused both you and Leslie to post about this. I am very new to giveaways and I was unaware you felt it was cheating if two inviduals from seperate households entered the same giveaway on the same computer. While this has only happened once and is rare. I feel it’s necessary to contact you directly to apologize but also to say I think it’s important to educate your readers and I do appreciate that. I would have however appreciated if you or Leslie had contacted me directly before turning this into something it didn’t need to be.

    My sister and I both are now aware of the IP issue and certainly if visiting eachother from out of state will not share computers.

    We both enjoy your blog a great deal and have enjoyed your posts and giveaways alike.

    Lindsay

    PS my IP address for your information: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip/98.113.133.185

    I’m sure Cortney would be happy to provide her IP address info when she is free, she lives in Michigan and obviously uses another internet carrier available there. I live in NYC and use Verizon. She did so on Leslie’s post earlier as did I. While I want my privacy as does she I feel compelled to provide my location because I don’t want to be accused of cheating when we were having fun and made an honest mistake.

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Let me start off by saying I love your blog. I was astonished this morning when I received a tweet from leslies loves veggies accusing me of cheating.

    I have never cheated and never would, I find it to be deplorable. I am only writing because while I think cheaters should be stopped and it is very wrong, bloggers do need to be careful that they’re not ‘blacklisting’ honest posters like my sister and I.

    I entered a giveaway on Lesle Loves Veggies at my sister Lindsay’s (misspearl13) house when I was out of town visiting her the other day. I never thought that was wrong as I was using my accounts and live in a different state.

    We are two people and live in two different states and have two different IP addresses (maybe you can check the ip from this post or my latest entries on your site to see that).

    I just want to clear the air and certainly don’t want me or my sister put on any ‘black list’ as we are both honest and don’t believe in cheating. I really wish Leslie would have come to us first and asked or seen that 99% of my posts were from my IP in Michigan (my sister is in NYC).

    I know there are other people who are couples entering from one household and that is a different story. But, please take in to account that some people travel and tweet/enter giveways on vacation.

    Thank you for a great blog and thank you for understanding and reading this!

    Cortney/ms_fleur

  3. It’s funny, sometimes to see just how obvious cheaters can be. I’m glad to know that we’re all on the same page, and thanks for putting out the reminder.

  4. Sorry all these fun blogs have cheaters
    I don’t have a blog but i know it’s frustrating for you and for the readers that take the time to enter the honest way.
    I think checking ip addresses is great,except it takes up your time
    i understand that once in a while someone can be entering from the same computer but then they should add that in their comment,
    also their comment shouldn’t be ‘seconds’ after the ‘first’
    persons comments…
    that is REALLY obvious that it’s the same person
    Last(sorry,if u don’t know what i’m talking about, i gotta say it) it’s just not cool to bring your religious beliefs in it
    seriously, judgement and forgiveness about blog giveaways?!?..scary!
    I hope they find a better way to use their time

    • Someone literally quoted their religious beliefs? I made an honest mistake…and I felt bad. Jennifer was very kind to explain everything to me. I’m as they say in the internet world, a ‘noob’ but bringing religion into it? I don’t get. Okay then. It’s just giveaways…we’re here to have fun, not quote scripture.

    • Oh yes…the comments seconds after the other user name. That is always a dead giveaway (no pun intended).

      I actually have no idea what you are talking about as far as the religious beliefs…I’m clueless.

  5. First off, I am glad that the blogger’s are checking over all the entries.
    I do it as fun, and if I win, that is great too.

    As far as people doing this as a living ……….well perhaps they need to get
    a real job.

    You are getting nothing by cheating, and the karma will turn around and
    get you one day. Trust me, I have witnessed alot of people saying ” Gee
    why do I have bad luck”. I can tell you why………try being honest in life and
    only good comes to you.

    Evil only turns around to those and kicks them in the behind !

  6. What cracks me up is that people aren’t aware of IP addresses in this day and age? I saw on a major giveaway from another blog last month that someone said they Liked the sponsor on Facebook but didn’t leave their FB name, plus it was one of the blogger type entry forms where you pick your profile. I mean, come on now, everyone who enters giveaways should have the common sense to provide their user names to verify these follows, likes, etc. I provide everything but my mother’s birthday to ensure everyone know IT’S ME, LOL!!

    I do have a question though, if I enter from my iPad (which I haven’t yet) but still in my home on wi-fi, will it show a different IP or still the same one since I’m on wi-fi?

    Sorry you had to write another post on this subject again.

    Thanks!! 🙂

    • This is an excellent question, but I don’t know the answer. I guess if you are entering from your iPad, maybe mention that you are RTing from your ipad in your comment too? Just make sure you use the same user name that you entered with initially.

  7. Preach it Sista!!! I just want to keep it honest for everyone!! I don’t want to embarrass or humiliate anyone. I have spent hours upon hours of time on ‘Cheatergate’ when I should be doing other things.

    Lets just keep it clean, and fun and turn the chapter in this book.

    XOXO
    Leslie

  8. It should go with out being said ,,,they know they are cheating they just figure you won’t catch them.
    I’m glad I read this post from facebook though because I learned something from it. I kept trying to leave a link from facebook on a few other blogs and the comment wouldn’t load. I had no idea others were having a problem too and now I know what to do next time. I just commented that I shared and put my facebook name because I couldn’t get the link and hoped that would work. Now I’ll also add @name to post. Thanks for Sharing and Sorry You have to go through all of this just to keep people honest. You work hard enough for us already with out this headache!

  9. I’m so glad to see you take a stand as well.

    I see so much blatant cheating. I see people say they Stumbled but when I go to Stumble, I’m the first. I’ve seen people use other’s Tweet links and claim it’s their own. I’ve also seen people reuse their original Tweet link every day and state it’s that day’s Tweet.

    Sometimes it can be very obvious due to the user names or emails they leave in their comments. My favorite is when they type in all capitals. It really stands out then 🙂 I’ve seen them make the same obvious spell mistake in each of the mandatory entries.

    I wish more bloggers would ban anonymous entries. It make cheating even easier for people.

    As for the sisters, if you had no ill intent then I’m sorry if you got caught up in this. Technically, you were breaking the rules since more than one person per IP was entering. They can’t go back and examine previous giveaways to see if you were entering from different IPs before.

    I’m happy to see that a major amount of blogs have made their giveaways one person per IP. It makes it more fair and easier to catch cheaters. Now I have to go break it to my Chihuahua that he can’t enter blogs anymore 🙂

  10. checkmyipyou knowwho I am :) on

    I am glad it is getting tightened- I am liking the forms they have out now- simple and easy and noone can copy and past my answer
    – Now will someone do something about the twitter parties and twitter contests with people having multiple accounts and then entering the list again with a jail account and getting another entry. Why not say one entry per household on the twitter stuff- check ips and if you go to jail you should have been on already- your jail account does not count for another entry. People will cheat to win the silliest things these day- and oh my horse and my dog, and pet snake have accounts too. Twitter says it is against the rules to have mult accounts so why don’t the people running check them ahead of time or lock the entries as the parties start so people cannot run mult accounts to win? (I can understand a second jail account that says jail to go on and finish up)
    I do remember seeing somewhere a lady from the midwest said she entered for everyone in her family- they were too busy in their lives (she admitted none live with her)She has a site still so people let it fly by I guess….
    and the guy from the east who was an ip guy who said he set his computer for autoentries in unlimited contests-
    yep its cheating just like the people who do extreme couponing and buy a different product because it scans.

    People need to stand up and clean up the contests..everywhere

    I enjoy your site because I know you are an honest blogger who actually reviews a product- opens it up- tries it and does things by the book. I can see some who do reviews do not open and give honest reviews of the product. Thankyou for this post.

    • Thank you for the compliments! I am keeping my eye on the tweets too – as far as people using someone else’s or linking their original tweet instead of doing new ones each day.

      • checkmyipyou knowwho I am :) on

        I was talking about how people open several accounts to gain more chances of winning at parties- but I see what you said to where people use the same link each day instead of a fresh tweet

  11. Well I guess I’m going to have to have a discussion with my son. We live in a duplex. He has a mailing address on “E” Street and my mailing address is on South 25th Street. We have separate telephones. His is a cell phone, mine is a land line.
    We share a cable/internet connection because it’s such a money saver.

    But now I discover that we would have the same IP address. We have different work schedules so most of the time we wouldn’t be entering at the same time but I get home from work around 1 am and he’s getting up to go to work around 3 am. There might be a short time when we are both entering but it would be unlikely.

    Is there any way for us to both enter the same giveaway without having to take the laptop to another location so we can get a different IP address?

  12. With all of this talk about cheating on the various blogs’ giveaways, I was wondering about what happens if you change email addresses. I had only one email address when I first started entering blog giveaways and subscribing to blog newsletters. Eventually, I decided to have a separate account for just newsletter subscriptions and giveaways, coupons, etc. and to use my original email account for work and personal business only. So on some blog sites I have subscribed to their newsletters and entered some of their earlier giveaways with my original address and entered their more recent giveaways and re-subscribed to their newsletters using my new address. Is that okay?

    I never, unless accidentally, entered the same giveaway using both addresses. The various bloggers who have been posting about the cheating made me worried if I had inadvertently broken the rules. I would appreciate knowing how you’re supposed to correctly handle an email address change. Thanks.

  13. In the past sometimes, my roommate and I would enter the same contest, even though it might be on different days. Since we both have the same IP, we won’t do that anymore. However, I was wondering if we can each enter entirely different contests? In other words, if I entered Contest A using my e-mail and then she enters Contest B later with her e-mail address, will those IPs still be matched up and therefore be a problem? I’m hoping that as long as we don’t both enter the same contest that we’re ok, but now I don’t know.

  14. Everyone is getting paranoid.

    I have done the same thing as Lisa, the post above mine. I changed my e-mail address for the same reason that she did. I changed my Google/Twitter/FB accounts to reflect this e-mail change. Surely it’s ok as long as we don’t enter the same contest using BOTH e-mails?

    • That should be fine, unless you switch emails halfway through a giveaway. If this is the case, I would use the new email and say something like, “this is a new email – previous entries under ___________ email. As long as your user name is the same too, it will be okay 🙂

  15. I’m a newbie to review blogging but have already fallen prey to this and now have to tighten up the standards aboard ship! Which sucks because it leaves me less time to scope out pitches etc. I think the new standard that I’ve been seeing, per household entries and such, are a good way to go. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention, I know it has helped me.

  16. Alan Tong (Omega Doom) on

    I sense a revolution stirring in the blogging community on how giveaways should be done in order to make it fair for everyone. I, too, have read posts about cheating on other blogs and about how they plan to tackle, and hopefully eliminate cheating all together. Thanks Jennifer for hosting such awesome giveaways!

  17. HI Jennifer,

    I really love your blog and also the awesome reviews and giveaways that you do. Thank you so much for that.

    I get your blog by e-mail a few times a week, so I’m assuming my e-mail is verified? I was wondering if you can just double check for me?

    Other than that, I play fair 🙂

    Thanks again Jennifer!

    Robyn

      • Jennifer,

        I just went and did that and Feedburner says I’m already subscribed. How do we fix this?

        In the past few days I’ve gotten your blog by e-mail on:

        June 2nd – “Costume Supercenter”
        June 6th – “$20 Chili’s Giftcard Giveaway”
        June 7th – “Sending Your Child To College”
        June 10th – “Just Say No To Cheating”

        And an email letting me know you replied to my above post a little while ago.

        There may have been 1 or 2 in between those dates also, but I just wanted to let you know that I’ve gotten these.

        Thanks!

        Robyn

  18. I just wanted to give an update and let everyone know that this IS NOT a witch hunt.

    Also, if you happen to notice something suspicious, please do let me know…but also keep in mind that even if entries might get through, when picking a winner, I will look through ALL of their entries for that giveaway to make sure they have not cheated.

    If they have cheated, I will simply pick a new winner (if it is apparent they are cheating). If someone is blatantly cheating I will ban them. If it is someone I think has made an honest mistake, odds are that I will email them to find out what’s going on (I like to give the benefit of the doubt, but I am no pushover 🙂

    There is no need to worry – I don’t want everyone to be paranoid as the majority of
    entrants are entering correctly and play by the rules

    If you have any concerns about your entries, please feel free to email me. I appreciate my readers and entrants and want you to have a good time 🙂

  19. I’m paranoid. I’m afraid somewhere, somehow I could’ve made an honest mistake and someone might be thinking I’m cheating. I would just hope that I’d be approached if that was ever thought anywhere.

    Because I pride myself on playing hard…but playing fair.

    *My pet peeve is contests that say you can tweet every hour – and someone will tweet at 58 minutes, for example. An hour is an hour.

  20. Jennifer, I agree with you 100%. The fact is, unless you do house checks you cannot verify that there are two separate people entering a contest from the same IP address.
    There just is no way of you personally verifying whether someone is honest or using aliases to increase their chances.
    If I wanted to, I could just as easily say my husb. was entering a contest, enter his info, even if he had no interest in doing so. And there would be no way for you to prove otherwise, and voila, I’d double my chances.
    Thus, even though some may view this as harsh, I think it is the fair and equitable rule for everyone to limit entrants to one per IP address.

  21. So sorry you have to deal with this and waste your time on nonsense. I love your blog and wanted to say thank you for taking the time to undertake it 🙂

  22. I know how much time and effort goes into hosting a giveaway, so I try to make it as easy on the person holding it as possible-That’s why I post direct links, and leave user names, and actually follow everything as it should be!

    It’s good contesting karma 🙂

    Plus I feel HUGELY guilty when I don’t do something right. LOL

  23. I’m so sorry that you have cheaters on your giveaways. I know you work so hard on them and it is so not fair that you have to find them and weed them out It is also not fair that you have to write a post about it.
    I love entering your giveaways and hope that I have always done everything right, I try to follow the directions and if I make a mistake, I understand that my entry should be thrown out.
    Thanks for always being the sweet wonderful person you are. HUGGLES!

    • Thank you Lorie…you always do your entries right. If someone looks like they really don’t know they are entering wrong, I will usually even send an email.

      I just want this to stop!

      Thank you for your kind words – you always make me smile 🙂

  24. LOL you are too funny.

    I am a GFC follower and I know I’ve entered that in your giveaways but you know – I don’t know what my GFC name is?! Is it Aleksandra Nearing or my google email or my blog name? Guess I’ll just risk it next time 🙂

  25. now I know to add my google friend name,I use the same email for giveaways as gfc which contains my name,as does my fb. just figured it would match up. sorry to hear about the cheaters,I read a post over on a forum about a well known couple who cheats and whenever I see their tweets on a giveaway I enter I just shake my head. I try to follow the rules as do most of us I think,I even worry about if its been a full 24 hrs between tweets. Here is one question,I think most of us copy/paste tweets . Is there a ‘etiquette’ about this? I try to use the bloggers own tweet or tweet button but not all leave them. If not usually others have tweeted and I have copied and pasted into my tweet box,not retweeted theirs exactly but copied it. Thanks for the insight,need to send a blogger a thanks I received it notice. I always say thank you and saddened others do not.

  26. Deborah in Atlanta on

    Quick question: I’m new to all this blogging and leaving comments. I have a Google Friends Connect (GFC) account, but you ask me to leave my GFC name, is that the name I use when I click on the “Follow” button on a blog in order to sign in?

  27. Thank you for writing this post. I wasn’t sure if this was a topic that people would discuss openly in blog post format, and I am truly glad that it is. I recently caught someone cheating on TWO of my giveaways. Obviously, she will be disqualified. I also noticed she was entering giveaways that I had also been entering, and using the same two personas. I contacted the other blogger about it, and never heard back. I hope she will take the accusation seriously; I have all the proof, and I am sure that her rafflecopter entry form does as well.

    • I hope blog owners are paying attention to. Not only is it wrong to cheat, but it cheats honest people out of wins when their odds are reduced because of someone entering twice.

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