First off I am going to let you know that I did participate in one of their promotions and due to what I believe was absolute fraud of the worst kind I was not able to win. If you can't look past that little bit of information and intend to disprove me without reading the rest of my post I ask that you please move along to the next thread you can dismantle.
Prizebook held a promotion for referrals and offers. Do an offer and you earn points in your account that go towards winning a $1,300 check if you had the most in your state. There was a live leaderboard implemented to show the winners in every state as they came along.
Pieces of skepticism from the start
[listbaf3ad27fa]How does a brand new DIY site even with financial backing from a large company justify spending over $70,000 on a contest that will bring them in barely a fraction of that amount?
The company claims they will fly out to the home of every winner, take pictures, and personally give them their check. Add that onto the $70,000+ just to pay out prizes alone.
When the contest started the claimed they would buy plasma televisions for every winner. Shortly after, they changed it to a $1,500 check. Weeks after, they changed it to $1,300 (Apparently so you can buy your own).[/listubaf3ad27fa]
Moving on. As the contest went on, I completed every offer offered by Prizebook, putting me easily in the lead for the state of Oregon. Absolutely no other participants were in my state at ANY time (Keep reading).
On the final hour of the contest before the offers would be removed to pronounce the final winners, the server crashed. Attempting to access the site resulted in gibberish PHP errors displayed on your screen after minutes of loading. After the hour was over and the contest was done, the server magically worked again...
But this time, almost every state had been overtaken by some random user who had not existed at that point. Obviously this caused a bit of concern on their boards as the leaders of every state swarmed to complain.
The company's response to this situation was this
[quotebaf3ad27fa][They] had their account hacked and their password stolen which is why we created a new account for them at the last minute. We migrated all of their referrals in the end as well placing them as the sure first place winner.[/quotebaf3ad27fa]
So apparently these were ALL users who had accounts previously and were "hacked" by a phishing scam at the very last moment of the contest, allowing the admins to create new accounts for them to complete the contest.
Let's poke some holes in their logic.
[listbaf3ad27fa]Why is it that only the silent, unknown winners of each state hacked? Why was there not a single forum user (Who were also supposed winners) who had claimed to have been hacked?
Their terms and conditions strictly prohibit the act of creating a second account under any condition. Why was this allowed when the reason for these hackings beyond the site's own control?
I went ahead and bluffed, saying I had searched the account of the winner in my state and found that the account had just been created (I didn't really know this). Immidiately they responded with
[quotebaf3ad27fa]Because he's using his older account now. The reason why people were hacked is because the hackers were using exploits on the forum to search and look up users. We've disabled that and cloaked many of the accounts, therefore you aren't going to be able to find too much on them.[/quotebaf3ad27fa][/listubaf3ad27fa]
So apparently now these accounts are "cloaked" so nobody can look at them (We couldn't even look at them BEFORE either, good lie buddy) and apparently the admins created a second account so they could do the offers... Then made them use their originals? What? How does that make any sense?
In summation, Prizebook walked into this contest knowing full well they couldn't afford to actually fund it the way it was stated. As such, they simply replaced the actual winners of most states with fake names. When it comes time to "fly down to their state", pictures of people they know will be taken to forge legitimacy.
They're not stupid though. Key members of many prize offer sites were allowed to win including some members of this very forum. After all, if some of the most well known users of other prize sites were given gifts, they MUST be legitimate right?
In short, stay away. Unless you hold some form of higher status on this site or another, or unless you've spent enough money to deem yourself worthy of them giving you a prize, you will be screwed.
Also, I want to state that their smaller areas of the site work perfectly fine. They'll pay you like they state in their DIY area and cash you out with no problem. You can be sure though, that if you participate in any of their high payout programs your money will be pocketed and account forgotten or banned.
Yeah, I'm locking this to prevent fragmentation and duplicate posts. We already have other threads related to this issue.