SCAMwatch is advising consumers to continue to be on the look out for scam scratchie cards in their letterbox. You may think you’re a big winner but scammers will ask you for thousands to claim a prize that never arrives.
How the scam works
- You receive a package in the mail which will commonly contain colourful travel brochures and a number of scratchie cards. One card will always be a winner. The most common ‘prize’ being a second prize of $150,000.
- If you call the number provided in the package, the scammer will ask for fees or taxes to be paid using a wire transfer service.
- Fees for claiming the ‘prize’ are often in the thousands and if you pay, you will never receive your promised winnings or see your money again.
- In some rare cases you may be asked to travel overseas to collect your winnings.
- The scammer may also request bank details and copies or original photo identification.
- The scam package may contain contact details for an overseas company and will also provide a web address for a fraudulent but professional-looking travel website.
- The packages may fraudulently mention legitimate travel and holiday providers.
- Be suspicious of any unsolicited letters, emails or telephone calls offering an unexpected prize or cash win.
- Ask yourself why you have to pay upfront money for a prize when the sum could be deducted from your winnings.
- NEVER send money or give personal details to people who contact you out of the blue, and who you don’t know and trust.
- Always get independent advice if you are unsure whether an offer or request is genuine.
- Search the company’s name on the internet as many scams can be identified this way.
You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.
SCAMwatch has also issued the following radars and media release on scratchie scams in the past:
- August 2011 - New round of scam scratchie cards in the mail
- October 2010: Beware of scratching your way into a scam (media release)
- September 2010: Beware of scam scratchie cards in your letterbox
- July 2010: Scratchie card scams continue
- January 2010: Happy win or just a scam?
Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.