What you give up when entering most on-line competitions

I’m betting 99% of people don’t read the Terms and conditions when they enter competitions on the Internet. You really should because you are allowing the people running the competition to really annoy you. I’ve woken up to the fact that there will probably be one prizewinner for every 10,000 entries. Think of it the other way - the company pays for one prize and gets 10,000 names, addresses and phone numbers of people who have agreed to accept phone calls and emails.

I’ve just put some of the worrying terms and conditions that you may find into plain English.

You can share my details with all of your associates, other companies involved in the competition, in fact just about anyone you want including overseas companies.

I understand that I will be contacted by any of these companies who will try to sell me just about anything you can think of by phone or email. Because I’ve agreed to this the Do Not Register does not apply. .

I agree that the company running the competition has the right to use anything I submit, worldwide and that I no longer own the copyright.

I’ve got to the stage where I no longer enter competitions with these terms and conditions because I don’t wish to be pestered indefinitely by callers. Now if you doubt what I’m saying try entering no phone number and you won’t be able to proceed because that is what they are after.


I never do enter as the odds are so small and the operators will harvest your contact details and use them or sell them for direct marketing.


I used to enter competitions that cost me nothing to enter.I would enter a heap and did quite well always averaging one win per week.I would get the odd phone call but it was mainly just e-mails i would receive,and you would just delete them.My suggestion would be is when a comp is finished and a winner is announced unsubscribe to them straight away.You mention about companies sharing your information some do but on some of them you have the option of opting out if you don’t want that info shared.But saying that you do need to be careful


I agree with the writers above…I never enter any promotions or competition. They just grab your emails or phone number and you never see the end of being pestered…Even if you unsubscribed. ANd they clogged up your inbox with endless spam.


I’ve been sucked in once and got heaps of unwanted calls. Never again. If I get an email about a prize I don’t open it, it gets deleted straight away.


Really good advice, I never enter competitions either.Most even want your birth-date which can lead to severe breaches of privacy and identity theft.


If you want to enter the competitions here are some things you can do to make it difficult for them to contact you afterwards.

From a previous post of mine about the DNCR

"If you provide your phone number on a web site or when you enter a competition, to register for example, then you have given that company and any linked companies with whom they share data permission to disregard the DNC register, they always put this sharing clause in their privacy policies. So if the site owner or competition holder shares this info with their advertisers and so on you basically wipe your DNC request. This is why many people put themselves on the list and then a little time after start getting flooded with calls again.

If you want to try to stop this and have a mobile phone you can buy a prepaid SIM card for a cheap service that has a 365 or 180 day credit expiry period examples would be ALDIMobile $15 +$5 (SIM cost) 365 day expiry, Amaysim $10 + $unknown for SIM 365 day expiry, Vodaphone $10 + $unknown for the SIM 365 day expiry. Register it and use that phone number anytime a site asks for one. It may cost you about $20 but the peace and quiet may be worth it. If your mobile phone is locked to a service then ALDIMobile uses Telstra, Amaysim uses Optus, and Vodaphone uses Vodaphone :slight_smile:

Just swap the SIM card out once you have your new number and place it someplace safe just in case you need it for some contact over an order or similar, so it can be used for a few calls when you want, and to put a recharge on it before the expiry date (to keep the number active). Put a reminder in your Calendar for a few days before the expiry date so you can ensure you refresh your SIM credit. A bonus is that if you do pay and activate the next recharge before the expiry date most rollover the unused credit.

I hope that helps some of you to reduce or eliminate these calls."

Then to the email question I recommend using disposable addresses. Some email providers give you some but there are companies/businesses/sites that offer unlimited disposable addresses. See this article for some:

I use Blur from Abine (basic version which is free) but as can be seen from the article above there are more. I prefer Blur as my masked email addresses are permanent unless I turn them off. Blur has some other free tools I take advantage of and these are a tracker blocker, and a password generator/storage component. You can visit their site to read up on it here:


I hope you find the hints useful.


I saw something similar at a concert in the Hunter Valley recently. A photographer was walking through the crowd taking happy snaps of people for free! All you had to do was hand over your email address and receive your photo…


Thanks for the tips @grahroll :+1:

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I have a dedicated gmail email address just for 'dodgy" emails. If I am reluctant to give my real email (also a gmail) address to someone or put it on a form, I just give them my dodgy gmail address. All the useless stuff goes to the “dodgy” gmail account, and if I want to stop them sending me stuff, I just hit the ‘spam’ button and gmail will reject all future emails from that address. You could even set up a gmail account called "dodgystuff@gmail.com". Computers don’t have a sense of humour, so they cant see the irony!!


My experience also. In addition I’ve found you can’t ‘unsubscribe’, either because the option is lacking or because doing so only unsubscribes you from that email and not future ones.


I appreciate the time and effort you took to give this very useful advice, thank you. :slight_smile:


@billandlyn99 Yes!! I’ve been doing this for years! It’s so good to know that someone else does it too! :relaxed:

I have done this for years. For any website, mailing list, competition etc. that I am not 100% sure of. I check it periodically, if I decide that I actually want to receive the emails coming in from particular places I then set up a filter to forward emails from that specific address to my normal email address.

If I don’t want them and they have an unsubscribe option then I try that, if it fails (and one charity took 3 unsubsrcibes before they stopped spamming me) then I can either ignore them or mark them as spam as they are not coming to my normal email address.

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@icky41 & @BrendanMays My pleasure!

I would advise that using unsubscribe links from Junk emails is not a good thing. If they are spammers/uncaring then when you unsubscribe you actually let them know your address is a “real”/active one and that allows/encourages them to continue sending emails to that address and to on-sell it to others. Email addresses for spamming can be bought by the 1000’s on certain sites and every one that is active is a nice catch for them.

If the email is really from a reputable business/site/person then unsubscribing is useful. Otherwise avoid unsubscribing and just delete the email or use a disposable address when signing up at a site you are unsure of (if you later find the site to be good you can always edit your details to use you real address) and just ditch the disposable address if you start getting spammed.

If the spam email purports to be from a Bank, Tax Office, EBay, Amazon or many other high profile businesses many have addresses to which you can forward the offending email so they can investigate it. Use these addresses before you delete the bad email if you wish to help curb the abuses. I have provided some of the reporting addresses below:

Ebay has spoof@ebay.com

Amazon has stop-spoofing@amazon.com

Australian Tax Office has ReportEmailFraud@ato.gov.au

Commonwealth Bank has hoax@cba.com.au

ANZ asks you to ring them if you believe you have responded to a fake email or if you wish to report a scam to do so at the Australian Governments Scamwatch at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam (you are welcome to use scamwatch for any scam for any business)

NAB has spoof@nab.com.au

Westpac has hoax@westpac.com.au

St George Bank has hoax@stgeorge.com.au


That is right, good onya for sharing that with others. I don’t do any free comps or many surveys unless it’s credible like CHOISE, that is a whole lot different. Have a good and safe new year.

I too use a “disposable” email address.

Along with a fake phone number, fake DOB and initials rater than name.

But the really dodgy-looking ones I just avoid.


I have a special email address, but sometimes I like to have fun.
For example, one of my imaginary profiles is a 75 year old man with a wife aged 65, a second wife aged 45, a mistress aged 30 and a girlfriend aged 19.


Spam Act requires they must

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