Don’t let scammers take advantage of the Anzac spirit
November 2013: With 2015 marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, the Australian and New Zealand governments have launched a ballot for attendance at Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. SCAMwatch is warning consumers to be on the alert for scammers trying to take advantage of people who want to attend this historic commemoration.
Anzac Day and the Gallipoli campaign are significant to the people of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, with thousands of people making the pilgrimage each year to Gallipoli. The Australian and New Zealand governments have introduced a ballot to manage attendance at the commemorations.
Scammers are known to take advantage of major events where there is high demand for a limited number of places. Scams targeting Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 may come in a variety of forms such as charges to register for the free ballot, fake ticketing websites, or packaged tour offers that ‘guarantee’ tickets.
If you want to attend the 100th anniversary Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015, remember these key points:
- There is only ONE way to register your interest – through the official government ballot. Register at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gallipoli 2015 website: www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au or call Ticketek for a paper application form on 1300 364 002.
- It is free to register on the ballot – if someone offers to register you for a fee, walk away.
- If you come across a website selling ‘tickets’ to the event, or a travel package that includes a ‘guaranteed’ place, don’t be fooled – there are no special or reserved tickets. The only way to register for an opportunity to attend the 2015 commemorations at Gallipoli is through the official ballot.
- There’s plenty of time to register for the ballot – it is open until midnight 31 January 2014.
How this scam works
Registration fee scam
- You come across a website offering to help you secure a spot to the 100th anniversary Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 by registering through the official ballot. The website charges a fee for this service.
- The site may use prominently-placed official logos, links to genuine government websites and photos of well-known Australians or landmarks to give it the appearance of authenticity and authority.
- If you go ahead with this offer, you end up paying for something that you could have done yourself for free – the Australian Government does not charge anything to register on the ballot. The website may not even register you in the ballot.
Fake tickets and guarantees
- You come across an offer online to either buy tickets to the commemorations, or a travel package that promises you a place at the commemorations.
- The site may look reputable with a slick and authoritative appearance. It may also claim to have access to tickets through a special relationship or arrangement with the organisers.
- If you take up an offer like this, you will find yourself on arrival at Gallipoli unable to access the commemorative site. No one can guarantee or sell you a place to the commemorations – the only way to try and secure a place is to register your interest through the official government ballot.
- If you want to attend the 100th anniversary Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015, you must register through the official government ballot. There is no other way to try and secure a place.
- If you are thinking of paying for a service to register you on the ballot, ask yourself – do I really want to pay for something that I can do myself for free?
- If you miss out on a place at the commemorations, do not fall for any offers that ‘guarantee’ you a place, or any offers for scalped ‘tickets’. Again, the only way to secure a place is through the official ballot.
- Remember – these days, it’s easy for a scammer to create and replicate a professional looking website.
- If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is responsible for administering the Anzac Day Gallipoli 2015 ballot, and has published a range of information on how it works. To find out more and apply, visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au.
Stay one step ahead of scammers – follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.