TikTok "Lucky Dips"
This new TikTok trend works through interactive live streams, which are accessible through the app. These livestreams are often suggested based on your preferences and content you have previously liked, although it is not uncommon to be offered these livestreams randomly. The host will likely direct you to a link where you can purchase a 'lucky draw' A.K.A. a scoop on their Livestream. This is a variation of a 'lucky dip' plot where the host randomly selects collectible items such as charms, crystals, bracelets, etc. The result of your hefty purchase and downright gamble is nothing more than what you would have gotten had you visited your local market on the weekend, only a lot more expensive.
Many of these TikTok accounts have received numerous complaints stating their product was either poorly made or didn't even contain all the items they were promised – who would have guessed?
The platform caters to this form of grossly overpriced and unethical hustle through its lack of regulation. Clickable links directing users to other sites such as social media accounts, donation pages makes it very easy for people such as these Scooping accounts to direct users to their websites to purchase these 'lucky dips.' These livestreams give the person who has purchased this a sense that they are the 'main character' and create an overwhelming impression that they have won a big prize due to the enthusiasm and persuasion of the host. This causes people to continue to buy into this stuff, regardless of whether or not they understand the considerable waste of money; some people enjoy the attention, and to be honest, I do not blame them. People are always happy to receive validation, even if that may be from strangers… so a person cheering with excitement as they scoop a bucket of mediocre crystals and gems? That would seem like a treasure trove to many people, especially young people. This is one of the reasons these hosts can convince users that their product is worth the absurd price tag and how the platform's inability to combat this creates an environment full of immoral fraudsters who can exploit many online.
This may have a significant impact on teens and young adults. Research shows that 16% of 18-24-year-olds will buy into different financial scams, compared to only 1% of those aged over 55 years old. This may lead to some becoming wiser with their money, or it could scar and create a lifetime of trust issues extending beyond the concept of money. The fact these good-for-naught tricksters are taking advantage of this viewership demographic in the wrong ways shows the lack of regulation by TikTok and that they need to intervene.
I believe this is a gross and immoral way to capitalise on people's lack of information and need for attention, etc. It should be spoken about more, treated the same way as spam emails and pyramid schemes, and taught about all the same.
About the Author – Codey
I am 17 years old and from Auckland, New Zealand. I am in my final year of high school (Year 13 here in NZ, Year 12 over in Aus), and plan to pursue tertiary education in law when I graduate. I have joined the Youth Committee in the hopes of spreading a positive message and hopefully, I can make a personal impact on those who read what I write, and hear what I say. At the same time, I wish to be a role model both online as well as in real life. I hope that along this journey we can all learn from each other and strive to become better versions of ourselves