In Travel Tips on Tuesday 27th Jun, 2017

Authorities warn of dangerous new travel scam

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Nowadays, when you think of scams you might assume that they most commonly occur online or over the phone.

While that seems to be the case a lot of the time, that doesn’t mean that traditional snail mail isn’t free from the dangers of scamming, as the Mackay Police in Queensland have recently found.

A member of one of the local neighbourhood watch divisions made a discovery and dropped the items off into the police station this month.

Within an envelope, which had been covered in international stamps, was a booklet that appeared to be a scratch and win competition.

But police are warning people who receive these travel scratchies not to do anything with their winnings.

“No matter who receives this mail and regardless of where you live – you can guarantee that one of your scratchies will be a winner. You can also guarantee that you will never lay your hands on any alleged prize,” the Mackay police wrote on their website.

“This is what is referred to as advanced fee fraud. This is where a victim is told that they have won a prize – but before they can receive it, they must hand over their hard earned money to cover so-called administration costs.” 

Image: Mackay Police

Some of the prizes include holidays, tours, a trip to Tokyo and even cash.

The “winner” is also asked for sensitive identification information and possible tax details in order to claim their prize.

People are advised that if they do receive something like this in the mail, to avoid responding at all and to report the incident to police.

How to know if you’ve received a travel scam in the mail:

  • Look out for grammar and spelling mistakes
  • International stamps on the envelope
  • Anything that asks you to provide private and sensitive information

If you are concerned about this scam, or have received something similar in the mail, be sure to contact your local police. 

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