Grand Sands Casino fake prize SMS scam!

20 August 2009

SCAMwatch is warning Australians to be on the lookout for a new telemarketing scam where scammers send text messages to advise consumers they have won ‘third prize’ in a bogus prize draw.

SCAMwatch has been provided with the following example text messages:

  • Last notice: Your mobile phone No. has won the 3rd prize in our activity, the cert No.:L6501, please contact our company asap, and your right will be cancel if it overdue or without cert No.,GSCI hotline:03-9001593
  • Last Notice: Your mobile No. has won 3rd prize in our activities with cert No.J4192,pls contact us ASAP, or else your award will be cancel. GSCI company:03-90105706

The text messages appear to be sent by ‘Grand Sands Casino Investment’ (GSCI) (a casino or hotel located in Macao, off the coast of China) and include details of a fake prize, valued at $US100 000. The SMS includes fake certification numbers, a hotline number to call and claim the prize (03 9001 5932 for SMS sent in July or 03 9010 5706 for SMS sent in August) and in some cases a website address.

When SMS recipients ring the hotline number, they are told they have won the ‘lucky draw’ door prize for a press conference held on the thirty-seventh floor of the Rialto Tower, 525 Collins St, Melbourne. The Rialto Tower advises that no such ‘press conference’ has taken place nor are any scheduled to take place.

Callers are asked to provide personal details such as their licence number, home address and banking information. They are also asked to make a $2000 payment to cover part of the 20 per cent ‘winnings tax’ that allegedly applies in Macao.

Reports indicate that the scammers are very persistent and make regular calls, demanding payments once callers provide their details.

While it appears that the hotline is a Melbourne number, SCAMwatch warns it is possible for scammers to use numbers that appear to originate from within Australia when they are actually routed to overseas locations.

Important: the scammers may change phone numbers or other details outlined above to try to trick you into responding.

SCAMwatch warns consumers that this prize money does not exist and any money paid to cover the fake ‘winnings tax’ will be lost to the scammers.

Warning signs

  • You receive a text message claiming you have won a large amount of money.
  • The text message gives you a number to call for further details about the prize and how to collect it.
  • You have to pay fees to collect your prize.

Protect yourself

  • Be suspicious of any text messages promising unexpected prizes—DELETE them immediately!
  • Do not send any money or pay any fee to claim a prize or lottery winnings.
  • Ask yourself—if I have won so much money, why don't they take the fees and charges out of my winnings?
  • If you have provided banking or credit card details, contact your bank immediately.
  • If a close friend or family member suddenly starts to transfer large sums of money overseas, you may wish to discuss this with them.
  • REMEMBER … if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Report


Report the matter via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

More information


Stay one step ahead of the scammers—visit SCAMwatch for more information about Lottery and competition scams (fake prizes), SMS competition & trivia scams, Missed calls & text messages from unknown numbers and further tips on How to protect yourself from scammers.

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