Fraud is one of the methods most used by criminals to be able to illegally take money from people: we have telephone scams, mail scams and even scams regarding donations for the unfortunate. Even during the Covid period, a high number of scams were reported, mostly implemented via the internet, the new frontier for stealing and disappearing into thin air without a trace.
Every year, law enforcement forces work hard to stop these people and at the same time train civilians on how to recognize this type of danger to prevent unpleasant consequences.
Scams don't always have to do with just taking money.
· For instance, there are identity thefts which, as the name implies; it aims to take over a person's identity to carry out illegal actions.
· Food fraud, which refers to the production and distribution of unhealthy foods.
· And then there are also job scams, of which I have almost been a victim, and I reported in one of my articles:https://www.tebiscottiearte.com/2022/10/07/job-scams/
In short, in short: there are unfortunately many ways to cheat people.
Usually the main victims are the elderly, seen as easy targets.
But even ordinary people, workers or entrepreneurs can fall into this trap unintentionally, especially when hidden behind an innocent facade. These situations may concern both work (as already mentioned), "prize" competitions and collaborations with pseudo companies.
Today I will stop on the second option.
Recently, promotions of many contests for cartoonists or illustrators are appearing on my Facebook page, promising big prizes and lots of visibility. Fine words, the theme to be represented and the guests of honor who take part in it… without a doubt, these are elements that tempt the spirit of an artist, especially when they are young and willing to get involved to get noticed. However, as exciting as it may be to have the possibility of being judged for one's skills artist and being able to win interesting prizes ... 90% of these competitions are a rip-off: the real goal of these people is to be able to appropriate thousands of drawings at no cost .
What does it mean?
It means that instead of commissioning a person and paying them the right amount (as it should be), with the excuse of the competition they can get the desired product for free.
Have a drawing made, especially by a freelancer with excellent references; very often it requires a high but fair expense. Unfortunately not everyone is able to afford it and competition scammers in particular.
As in other cases, here too it is not always easy to identify the deception, especially if the process comes through the digital network. As if that weren't enough, scammers have no qualms about using even children to commit the crime.
An example is a case that occurred in Massafra-Taranto:
“They enticed the children with a fake drawing contest in which all the contestants were winners and, when the prizes were awarded, they defrauded the parents into signing contracts for the expensive purchase of a multimedia work of very little value .
The mechanism of the scam - as established by the investigations - was quite simple. Some young people, selected by one of the five companies investigated, distributed blank sheets of paper in front of the schools inviting the young pupils to draw a drawing and then return the sheet complete with their personal data and telephone number. Shortly afterwards, the parents of the very young - the investigations ascertained that all the children were obviously winners - were informed that their son had won the competition and were invited to collect it at a party organized in a hotel in the area. At the time of the withdrawal of the prize, the scam was triggered.
During the holidays, in fact - it was announced - parents were presented with an "attractive" offer: the purchase of a multimedia work whose cost varied from 3,000 to 5,000 euros - instead at the Siae in Milan the work was was declared with a value of around 10 euros - and to further entice parents, a computer with a declared value of 2,000 euros was offered as a gift.
The day following the signing of this "contract" the computer was installed but without the guarantee packaging in order to avoid any type of recession on the part of the purchaser. Indeed, in the case of some repentant parent who became "more insistent" in wanting to return the purchased items, either one tried to postpone any intervention in order to make the legal terms for the withdrawal expire or one threatened him with legal action against them.
[La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.it:https://www.lagazzettadelmezzogiorno.it/news/home/55975/truffa-a-scuola-da-taranto-18-arresti.html]
As if to say: we live in a world of thieves.
Regardless of whether they are adults or children, someone will always try to speculate on them, even worse when it is an adult with a particular gift.
For old and new artists, then; the danger of having your works exploited or stolen is a constant that you must always pay attention to. If it's not for the money, it's still for another obnoxious reason. As for the competitions however; the only way to make sure they are reliable is to research the organizing body.
I invite you to follow this video which examines the subject very carefully and provides many useful tips. I found it very interesting and I hope it helps all those kids who intend to participate in a contest, but don't know if it's worth it or not: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZNIrZbThss