SCAMwatch continues to receive reports about scams involving scratchie cards received in the mail. At the beginning of 2010, SCAMwatch warned consumers about the Euphoria Travelling Group and its mail scratchies where you always ‘won’ – for a fee. Unfortunately, this sort of scam is still doing the rounds.
This scam typically involves you receiving an unsolicited letter from a travel company, containing an attractive brochure and scratchies. Upon revealing the contents of the card, you find that you are the winner of a large sum of money. However, in order to claim your prize, you need to pay a small fee first.
The problem is, every recipient of the letter is a lucky winner, the upfront payment can go into the thousands of dollars and, if you pay, you will never see your money again. You may be tempted because the company brochure looks legitimate and the scammer gives you an excuse for the payment that sounds legitimate, such as membership fees. But remember: professional scammers are successful because it’s their job to trick you.
If you receive scratchies in the mail and ‘win’, make sure you don’t lose out: throw it away and report it to SCAMwatch.
- Be suspicious of any unexpected prizes received via unsolicited letters, emails or telemarketing.
- 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 you don’t know and trust.
- Always get independent advice if you are unsure whether an offer or request is genuine.
You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.
Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about how to protect yourself against scams including lottery and sweepstake scams, and unexpected ‘prizes’.