A guide of legal measures to prevent fraud in online promotions

Carles Bonfill
Carles Bonfill

Contests, giveaways, and online promotions are powerful marketing tools that allow organizing brands to promote their products or services. Furthermore, a well-organized, well-executed contest achieves greater brand awareness and exposure, increases web traffic, and boosts followers and user interaction. However, there is a possibility that some participants may not comply with the requirements set in the legal terms or engage in fraudulent activities for a variety of reasons, such as getting the prize, or collecting personal data or relevant information from other participants without their consent, among others. Keep on reading to learn about the legal measures you can take to protect your online promotions against participant fraud.

It is not uncommon to come across malicious actions in digital online promotions. Hence, the importance of taking legal and technical measures to prevent fraud. When prizes are available in a digital environment, the likelihood of malicious users attempting fraudulent practices increases. The types of digital promotions with the highest level of fraud include:

  • Voting contests: Users may attempt to register fake votes to be the most voted.
  • Promotions with direct prizes: Users may try to register with false information to win the prize. Common in promotions like Spin the Wheel or Scratch and Win.
  • Online skill games: Users want to be at the top of the ranking and may try to manipulate the game itself.
  • Promotions conditioned to proof of purchase: Users may try to falsify receipts to have more chances of winning a prize.

Some of the most common malpractices include:

  • Participating with a false identity or impersonating someone else.
  • Registering with fake email addresses or phone numbers.
  • Using computer programs or bot systems to automate registration.
  • Manipulating the promotion with programs to tamper with timers and scores.
  • Buying votes, followers, and fake registrations online.
  • Duplicating proofs of purchase, coupons, and codes to have higher chances of winning.

These illegal behaviors by participants exploit the good faith of the promotion and negatively impact the organizing brand’s image. However, brands can avoid these illicit activities through technical and legal measures.

So, let’s delve into the technical anti-fraud measures that the Easypromos platform features and the legal recommendations by the legal firm Letslaw.


Easypromos’ anti-fraud technical features

Este es el listado de los controles principales del sistema de Seguridad de Easypromos contra el fraude los participantes:

Malicious IP addresses control

Easypromos keeps an updated database of IP addresses with a history of fraudulent activities, allowing for the blocking of access attempts. Includes a list of malicious proxies and VPNs

Malicious email addresses control

Easypromos maintains a database of temporary and prohibited email domains to prevent fake users from registering to improve the quality of registrations. This includes detecting and blocking email aliases, as well as an email address verification system.

Malicious phone numbers control

Easypromos keeps a database of temporary and prohibited phone numbers to prevent users attempting to abuse contests with fake phone numbers from registering. Additionally, it includes a phone number verification system via SMS.

Anti-bot system

All promotions feature a system to detect and block automated access from computer programs and scripts. This includes tools like reCaptcha, CSRF tokens, parameter masking, and more.

Two-factor authentication (2FA)

Easypromos’ registration system enables the activation of multiple identification methods, including social login, email login, and phone number. Two-factor authentication can be enabled with SMS or email verification for added security.

Security level indicator

This tool helps the organizer configure a secure contest, providing warnings and recommendations to enhance security. Don’t let a configuration error spoil your campaign!

Security center

The promotion administrator can access a control panel featuring all detected and blocked security events and records. It also offers tools to analyze IP and email addresses in the promotion, with the option of blocking users and keeping blacklists.

Easypromos security team

Easypromos has a specialized team that monitors contest activity and several security indicators. This team proactively works to block fraudulent practices and enhance the security system.


Prevent illicit activities and malpractices by users by drafting comprehensive legal terms and conditions that establish clear rules of participation and disqualify participants who engage in fraudulent actions.

It is essential to draft terms and conditions that are clear and understandable for the user, as participants can interpret ambiguous ones to their own benefit.

The organizer’s ability to block and disqualify users engaging in such fraudulent practices can be stipulated in the T&C’s, in clauses such as these:

“The sponsor reserves the right to disqualify participants. Participants may not participate multiple times or vote with different accounts. Fraudulent activities will be monitored, and participants may be excluded or disqualified when behaviors that may appear abusive or malicious are detected.”

“Any false indication or signs of identity or fraud will allow the organizer to unilaterally disqualify the participant immediately, without the need to notify the participant or justify the decision.”

However, even if such clauses are not included in the legal terms, the promotion organizer has the right to disqualify any participant.

Furthermore, in cases where users engage in illicit actions, the organizer or affected participants may pursue civil and/or criminal actions against these users, including:

  • Claiming damages caused to the promotion organizer, for example, regarding potential consequences the illicit action may have on the brand’s image.
  • Fraud offense (Article 248 Criminal Code), which can result in imprisonment for up to three years, according to the Criminal Code: “Fraud is committed by those who, with the intent of profit, use deception sufficient to produce an error in another, inducing them to make a dispositional act to their own or others’ detriment.”
  • Identity theft or impersonation (Article 401 Criminal Code) by users pretending to be someone else using their data, creating fake profiles, or stealing the identity of others on social networks.
  • Violation of personal image rights (Article 18 Constitution), by a participant who creates a fake profile and uses another user’s personal information, such as a photograph.
  • Password or account theft would constitute a crime against privacy, i.e., a form of revealing secrets (Article 197 Criminal Code). If to access profiles, the person acting illicitly has damaged a computer system or stolen passwords, it may be considered a crime of damage to networks, media, or computer systems (Article 264 Criminal Code).
  • Crimes related to Intellectual Property, if a user participates in a promotion claiming intellectual creations (literary, musical, audiovisual, photographic works) of which they are not the copyrights holder.

Important: The above legal information and reference is based on the Spanish Constitution and criminal law. Please refer to your local legislation when drafting your promotion’s Terms & Conditions and if necessary, seek legal assistance.

For more information on how to draft the legal terms of your promotion, check out the Step-by-step Guide to Writing Terms and Conditions.

If you wish to receive more information regarding the Easypromos anti-fraud system, contact our support team via live chat. We will be happy to help.