Consumers are being ripped off by offers of fake prizes in a new casino survey scam.
SCAMwatch is warning consumers about a telemarketing survey which focuses on casinos in various Australian cities, including Canberra. This appears to be the first step in a new scam that has been targeting Australian consumers.
The survey call is followed by another announcing that the consumer has won $350,000 Hong Kong dollars.
A winner’s claim form and a raffle ticket are then provided via email or fax.
The raffle ticket features a crowned logo, the address as Canberra, Australia (or possibly another capital city), a confirmation code and details of a related website. Cheques for large sums of money in Hong Kong dollars have also been sent to some participants. SCAMwatch believes that these cheques are fake.
To claim the prize, the winner’s claim form has to be returned to the telemarketers with proof of the participant’s ID. This can include a Medicare or driver’s licence number. In some cases participants have been asked for bank account details.
To date all the winning confirmation codes reported are KW99891. This code, once entered into the web address provided brings up a notification saying:
Congratulations, You won the second prize of our company promotion. It is cash cheque 350,000 HK Dollars. Please contact our company to process the procedure of claiming the prize soon.
The website features ornate gold graphics, a Hong Kong address and includes what appears to be a Canberra phone number. The address given when this number is contacted is for a genuine Canberra address, but not for this trader. SCAMwatch believes the Hong Kong address provided is also fake.
Requests for money via money transfer then begin. Excuses for upfront transfer requests include payment for tax certificates and other administration costs to claim the prize.
SCAMwatch warns consumers not to send money or provide personal details to people they don't know and trust.
Warning signs- what to watch out for:
You are approached with the offer of a guaranteed prize.
You have to pay fees or provide personal details to collect your “prize”.
How to protect yourself:
Do not send money or pay any fee via money transfer to claim prizes.
Read all the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully: claims of free or very cheap offers often have hidden costs.
Never give personal details to anyone that you have not checked out first from an independent source. Internet searches can sometime provide extra information.
Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
Report a scam
If you have been scammed, note down all the relevant information - such as, when you received the calls who you spoke to, the website/s you visited and any other documentation you have received about the prize.
Report the matter to the ACCC's Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or visit the report a scam page in SCAMwatch.