Beware of travel scratchie scams

The brochure and travel scratchies one Yanchep resident received in the mail recently.

WA ScamNet has received 25 reports, including one from a Yanchep resident, since January this year relating to travel scratchie scams but with no losses reported.

Consumer Protection said six different company names have been reported, including Global Adventure Tours.

The travel card scam operates by sending professional looking scratch and win cards through the post where victims ‘win’ cash prizes or overseas holidays.

But Consumer Protection is warning people to not let the emotion of their ‘big win’ fool them.

There is no cash or holiday coming your way.

Scammers play on this emotion and ask you to provide personal information so they can steal your identity, and even request money so you can ‘redeem your prize’.

How the scam works

  • You receive a package in your letterbox, usually containing colourful travel brochures and scratchie cards.
  • One card will always be a winner. The most common is the ‘second prize’ of US$160,000.
  • If you call the number provided in the package to claim your prize, the scammer will ask you to pay ‘associated fees or taxes’, often in the thousands of dollars.
  • The scammer may request your bank details and copies or original photo identification for identity theft.
  • The scam package may contain contact details for an overseas company. It usually also directs you to a fake, but professional-looking, travel website.
  • The scam packages may use the names of legitimate travel and holiday providers to trick you into thinking it’s real.

Consumer Protection advises householders to be suspicious of any unsolicited letters, emails or telephone calls offering an unexpected prize or cash win that ask you to pay upfront money to collect the winnings.

Practice the pause… and think could this be a scam? If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

To check if it is a scam, search the company’s name on the internet as many scams can be identified this way and in general, never send money or give personal details to people who contact you out of the blue and who you don’t know and trust.

If you think you have been scammed, contact WA ScamNet for advice by calling 1300 304  054 or lodge a scam report on the website where you can also subscribe to regular scam alerts.