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The Story of a Competition Gone Astray

A year into surviving our shared “End of the World” event and at the beginning of March, I thought we all could use a bit of a ‘cheer me up’ or 2021 escapism. I decided to try to convince some amazing businesses, as well as some of my favourite people to join my company’s 7th birthday competition. To put it lightly, I was overwhelmed with the response, as so many of them agreed to join me in my crusade to bring some joy to April 2021.

We successfully ran a similar contest in 2019 and had planned to turn this into an annual extravaganza, but 2020 had other plans for us all. All things considered, this birthday is a huge milestone for me because I’m so honoured that my little baby has made it this far, including surviving a seemingly world ending event. We even recently crossed 10 000 Facebook followers 😲 so to say I was looking forward to sharing the ‘love’ with my social media followers is an understatement. The first day went incredibly well, we had some minor hiccups prior to launch, but as they say “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”. 

However, what can hurt you are when scammers copy your Instagram page, befriend your contestants, and wrongfully try to trick them into thinking they’ve won in order to steal their sensitive information. You know… Just a regular old Friday afternoon! So many thoughts were rushing through my head. I felt horrid, as if I had done something wrong. 

🤷🏻‍♀️ .

Were they we’re trying to embezzle people during a pandemic?

Should I end the competition to keep everyone safe?
How could they take advantage of the ‘little bit’ of joy I was trying to spread this April, with the amazing people.

I felt like this was somehow my fault, like I should be embarrassed, I felt a need to apologize to everyone who had entered including the businesses who were part of my competition. Although this might sound dramatic, this ‘fake’ account left me feeling frustrated, violated, emotional and caused a minor bout of depression. Internally I stepped away from my role in the competition and wrongfully left responding to all the amazing participants to the rest of the team. I could not get over the thought of who would do such a thing? I must admit, my faith in humanity is starting to show some cracks.

I’m still unsure what conclusion to draw from all of this. Despite the obvious sense of worry I’ve had, all that is within my powers to do is to urge all of you to be kind to one another, double-check anything before you click on it, and most importantly, protect yourself and each other against these ‘fraudsters’.

Until the next Rug Riff,
In good design

Mae.

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