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Fake travel company uses brochures, scratchies in latest scam


Western Australians are the latest targets of a fake travel company phishing for personal information via scratchies and professional looking travel brochures.

Get It On Holiday travel brochures have been delivered across Western Australia in the same envelope as two scratchie cards, with one of these cards declaring a $US190,000 (AU$242,000) win, WA Today reported.

 

Should supposed ‘winners’ try to claim their ‘prizes’, it is believed that they will be asked to not only hand over personal information (thereby leaving themselves open to identity theft), but will also be asked to pay fees prior to receiving their prize.

 

Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard warned Perth residents to "throw out the brochures and the fake scratchies in the bin".

 

"Every two years or so these professional looking travel brochures turn up in the mailboxes of WA residents with different names and different images but with one common purpose, to fleece the recipients of their money and possibly their identity," he said.

 

"There is no prize and anyone who responds will be asked to verify their identity by providing personal and financial information which leaves them open to identity theft at some time in the future.”

 

Hillyard likened the scam to a very similar scheme that hit the eastern states earlier this year. In this instance, the travel company was one Sweet Summer Tour, who claimed to be running the scratching contest to celebrate its thirteenth year in business.

 

New South Wales couple Belinda and Luke Wrigley came close to to falling for the scam, but soon realised not everything was as it seemed.

 

"It was very professionally presented,” Ms Wrigley said.

 

“We hoped it was real. Who doesn't want to win $190,000? Then we started to look into it and the alarm bells started to ring."

 

Scratchie scams are one of the most common tricks used by con artists, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says, claiming $12,000 was taken from unsuspecting Australian consumers in August alone. 

 

Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 11 October 2017


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