Some awards can be fake

Recently Gulf News started an investigation into award galas that are being held in the UAE and found out that most of them were fake. The so-called winners turned out to be victims of scams. These galas were run by fraudsters, who were preying on people’s vanity.

“For the organisers of these dubious events, the objective has never been to recognise excellence but to coax entrants or winners into forking out money.”

So how do these scams work, how do they get people or companies to participate?

Firstly, they will create a false sense of urgency among companies and get them excited about the awards. They will use slogans such as, “Hurry, nominations close any minute …” “Don’t delay, deadline for nominations is fast approaching …” “Last chance to submit your entry.”  They also tell you that your competitors have already entered the competition.

“The truth is that there is no real contest or judging process. The meaningless awards are simply handed out to anyone prepared to pay. The asking price ranges from Dh5,000 to Dh30,000 with some individuals and companies admitting they paid up for fear of their competitors bagging the award instead.”

Awards gala held by convicted fraudster

Despite the dubious provenance of these award galas, companies continue to fall for them. Like they did in 2017 when a convicted international fraudster launched a bogus edition of the reputed Financial Times newspaper and raked in millions of dollars in advertising revenue and barter deals from luxury retail brands and top hospitality groups in the UAE.

Earlier this year, this fraudster was extradited from Bahrain to Jersey where he was sentenced to six years in prison for another crime.

Pay to become a judge on a panel

Just as easily as you can buy an award, you could also buy a place on the jury panel. So why would anyone want to pay to be a judge on a panel? “Being a judge enables you to enhance your credibility and network with business leaders,” boasts the website that sells these jury places.

Like a degree bought from the internet, vanity awards undermine and devalue the efforts of genuine achievers. They may make recipients feel good, but at the end of the day they remain a hollow commodity.

Visitors to ArabicOnline.Eu will see that we, too, have won an award. Well, we can assure all our clients that the Award that received: 

European Language Label

is genuine. We did not pay any money to be entered into the nominations. This award is granted by the European Commission to recognise excellence in language learning, technology and pedagogical innovation.

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