Monday, June 24, 2024

Fake scratchies warning for WA

Fake scratchie cards promising huge cash prizes as part of a bogus travel promotion are once again arriving in letterboxes across Western Australia, prompting a warning for households to be on scam alert.

Consumer Protection’s WA ScamNet team says it has recently received a high number of reports from consumers who were sent packages, often via registered mail, containing glossy travel brochures and two scratchie cards, one of which reveals a $US185,000 ‘win’.

This long-running scam from Malaysia has gone by many names over the years, but the latest versions being reported are “Klang Valley Tours”, “Travel Expert Tours” and “Global Line Travel”.

When the supposed ‘winners’ contact the scammers to claim their ‘prize’, they are instructed to firstly send personal identification (ID) – which will be used to steal their identity – and then to pay an upfront fee to receive the funds. They are also told not to discuss the ‘winnings’ with anyone.

Unfortunately, one WA couple has reported sending their ID before they realised, and another man sent the money in cryptocurrency. Another couple also came very close to sending the $5,000 fee to the scammers at their local post office.

“We often warn about the scams that arrive via email, phone and social media, but it’s important not to forget they can land in our letterbox too,” said Commerce Minister, Sue Ellery.

“Scammers are smart – they know by dressing up this con with a very professional, expensive-looking brochure, people may be more likely to think the scratchie prize money is real.

“Don’t be fooled though – if you receive these packages, throw them straight in the bin. Do not provide personal information and remember, you should never have to pay money to receive a legitimate prize.”

Scam attempts can be reported to WA ScamNet via the website at: https://www.scamnet.wa.gov.au/scamnet/Home.htm or by emailing consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or phoning 1300 30 40 54.

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