How contest and competition scams work
The scammers typically advertise trials, auditions or casting calls through online platforms, social media apps or classified ads. They may even create fake websites or social media pages that appear legitimate. However, they instead take advantage of the victims by asking for money or personal information.
Scammers may require victims to pay an upfront fee to participate in the contest or competition. They may also ask them to pay for additional services such as photography or travel expenses.
Often, these scams target teenagers who are aspiring performers looking for a big break.
Once they pay the upfront fee, they may not hear back from the scammers. Or, they could be told they did not win, and they might receive a ‘second chance’ for an even larger fee.
In some cases, the scammers may also ask for personal information that can be used for identity theft or fraud.