Scam scratchies strike again

18 May 2012

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.

Protect yourself

  • 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.

Report

You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

More information

Read more about lottery and sweepstake scams and unexpected ‘prizes’.

SCAMwatch has also issued the following radars and media release on scratchie scams in the past:

Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.

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