New scratchies scam strikes
People should beware a new scratchie prize scam that promises cash prizes and holidays.
Senator Richard Colbec said, "My office was contacted by a North West [Tasmanian] man this week after he received unsolicited addressed mail that contained scratchie game tickets.
"The scratchie tickets claimed the man had won a US$160,000 prize and instructed him to contact Sapphirestar Travels to verify and claim the prize.
"The man made contact with Sapphirestar Travels but had difficulty in claiming the prize and consequently called my office for advice.
"The ACCC's SCAMwatch website has details of scratchie ticket scams that are almost identical to the one this man received. Prize winners are eventually asked to provide personal details like bank account numbers and copies of passports, and to make payments of several thousand dollars to "claim" the prize.
"The prizes never arrive and the "claim" money cannot be retrieved.
"Luckily, the man who contacted my office was rightly suspicious and did not give out any personal details.
"Australian authorities have been aware for some time of similar scratchie prize scams operating under a variety of different business names.
"There have been some very unfortunate cases in Western Australia where unsuspecting victims lost tens of thousands of dollars through this type of scam.
"The scammers go to great lengths to appear legitimate, providing telephone, email and website contact details."
"Households should take care not to be caught out by this latest scam.
The ACCC's SCAMWatch website www.scamwatch.gov.au has details of known scams that are circulating in Australia. Scams can be reported online or by calling 1300 795 995.
12 July 2012.