The Best of Lufkin, an annual section that highlights Lufkin’s best merchants, restaurants and service providers as chosen by readers, will appear in The Lufkin Daily News on Sunday, July 28.

The ballots for this year’s contest were due Thursday, according to Tammy Kedrowicz, advertising director of The Lufkin Daily News.

Winners and runners-up are listed at no charge and can choose to buy ads in the Best of Lufkin newspaper special section to thank the community. Each winner receives a free printed certificate that they can hang in their locations.

She cautioned that every year, an outside company contacts people to tell them they have won the Best of Lufkin contest and asks them to provide their credit card information to purchase a plaque or trophy.

That company previously has used the name ‘‘Lufkin Award Program’’ and ‘‘In The News.’’

“I want to make sure that everybody knows that is in no way associated with us,” Kedrowicz said. “If you won Best of Lufkin through the newspaper, a newspaper rep will contact you, and you don’t have to purchase anything to be acknowledged as the winner. But every year it seems that this company pops up, trying to sell people trophies and scamming them.”

Kedrowicz said the newspaper has published Best of Lufkin since 2005, and over the years, the newspaper has tried to prevent cheating as much as possible.

“We used to run eight ballots in the paper, and then we narrowed it down over time to four ballots, and now we only put one ballot in the paper to give people one chance,” Kedrowicz said. “That has eliminated a lot of the cheating, but of course the system isn’t foolproof. We just have to rely on people getting the papers, filling them out and bringing them to us.”

The section receives positive feedback from the community, she said.

“Most people absolutely love it. A lot of people build their ad campaigns around it,” Kedrowicz said. “I see banners around town with the Best of Lufkin medallion. They are proud to show off that they were voted the best.”