Another Scam To Watch For: The Travel Scratchie

Scam emails are distressingly common, but scams that use old-fashioned snail mail still proliferate. In one example currently active in Victoria, Queensland, SA and NT, travel-themed scratch cards are used to try and con people out of their money.The scam takes the form of a scratch card sent in the mail, which appears to offer a prize of $180,000. However, when you try to redeem the prize, the scammers ask for a "wire transfer fee" totalling thousands of dollars. This in itself highlights clearly that a scam is in operation: as the governmental SCAMwatch site notes, "Ask yourself why you have to pay upfront money for a prize when the sum could be deducted from your winnings."

I trust most Lifehacker readers would be alert enough to detect this scam, but it's worth keeping an eye on any of your lottery-keen relatives (confession: I'm thinking of my grandmother here). At the same time, you can remind them not to fall for the fake Microsoft/Telstra support scam.



    Yeah, Toowoomba is a gathering point for retirees, which is I think why we are constantly getting hammered by these scum bags! If I had a dollar for every time someone offered to get rid of viruses on my Windows PC I'd be a rich man! They are relentless! #[

      Have fun with the Virus on PC ones. Frustrate them with comments like
      - I'm not sure if the computer is on!
      - Whats a Virus?
      - No my computer cant get virus's its a machine?
      - What do you mean by click here? Where is here exactly?
      - Whats a right click - I mean whats the difference between a wrong one and a right
      - Where is the Enter key
      - Ok I can find the screen... now what
      - Do I have to go into another room when it scans. I dont want any exposure to x rays. THEY CAUSE CANCER!!!

        Or creep them out with "My computer can't have a virus, I was wearing a condom"

      Hey, are you in Toowoomba Ecky? So am I!

        Dude seriously ?

    I think you mean 'totaling thousands of dollars' not 'totally'.

      That is indeed totally what I should have written!

    Hah, ... I've gotten so sick of it I generally run off a stream of expletives until they hang up! #]

    Get a whistle. Keep it by the phone.

    Talk softly.

    Actually Angus I have to apologise! I didn't set out to hijack your post, I should've mentioned that this scratchy thing would probably be a cash cow here, there are a lot of pensioners that would eat that shit up!! #}

    When I hear the words "Western Union" in a sentence with my clients (I work in Fraud Prevention) I am immediately aware that they have been scammed or tricked in some way. While Western Union themselves are not really at fault.. it's the most common method that these people use to get money out of the country. If any, EVER, asks you to make payment by Western Union then you should be VERY cautious of what they are asking you to do.

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