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Poetry Contests

How the scam works:

There are several poetry websites on the Internet scamming people day after day, organizing poetry contests and leading lonely people to believe they are great artists. Once the contest is finished, all submitters will receive congratulatory messages for their amazing work.

As a reward, the website will offer the writer a sensational offer – they tell the poet that the company is publishing a book and they would like his or her poem to be on the first page.

For that, the poet has to pay a small fee, “just so we can keep our website maintained and people like you can always find a quiet and nice place in which to create”. Having their confidence boosted, the poets pay the fees and receive the book.

What they don’t know is that the page with their poem is manually and very carefully attached in the front of the book, and that there are dozens if not hundreds of the same book out there, all with a different first page.

The scam doesn’t stop here. The crooks will also send an official-looking letter (by regular mail) to the poet saying that they want to award him or her with a trophy, for the amazing poem. The writer is told that he doesn’t have to pay for the trophy (nice one according to the pictures), BUT he could pay another fee if he wants to have his name and the poem’s title engraved on it. Well, that’s nice, who wouldn’t?

They are given an incredible deal, so that the writers can brag to their friends and families what great poets they are. This way, the victims pay an average $150 for cheap engraved trophies (real value is probably $40) to the scammers… but hey, they are now international acclaimed poets.

How to avoid:

Research the company online and add the word “scam” at the end of their name, in the search engine. If you want to have some fun, write a very short non-sense poem and submit it to these sites. You’ll be told your poem could make a difference in the world.

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