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Scratchie scam

Saturday, 1st December, 2018

Brain Fenton with the two bogus cards. Brain Fenton with the two bogus cards.

By Callum Marshall

Local resident Brian Fenton visited the BDT on Friday, highlighting a recent scam he received in the hopes that others would become aware of it and remain vigilant to similar ones. 

He said he received a letter on Wednesday from a “Gemilang City Tours” based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which included two scratchie tickets and a brochure about the “company” with one of the tickets claiming he’d won a 200,000 USD prize.

“I’ve never been on a tour with Gemilang,” he said. 

“I’m familiar with the fact that (these scammers can) get our name through various means, but I don’t know how they got to me.”

While the brochure Brian received looked, and at times, sounded fairly professional, there were several telling signs that it was clearly fake.

Alongside several obvious grammatical mistakes, the brochure described the company as starting in 2004 and looking forward to what 2018 had to offer, celebrating “15 years of success.” 

Their so-called ‘platinum sponsor’, “Kyle and Joshua Holdings”, did not return a website, reference, image or company listing when put into a Google search.

Also, what Brian received from Gemilang City Tours matched exactly with what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned about scratchie scams.

They’ve said that with these scams, “you receive a letter or brochure in your mailbox which includes scratchie cards (and) there’ll often be two cards - one a losing card and the other a second or third prize win.” 

According to the ACCC, $314,450 has been lost to scratchie scammers during the course of the year, with the statistics measuring until the end of October.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable, with the same statistics highlighting that from January 2015 until October 2018, over 65s have had the highest number of reported scratchie scam cases for all bar eleven of the months.

For three of those eleven months they were tied with another age group and for most of those eleven months the 55-64 age group recorded the highest number of reported scatchie scams.

Brian said he’d been pretty alert to the scam he received but reminded others to pay close attention to what these “companies” sent.

“It’s criminal,” he said, “I just hope there’s not too many fools who fall for this sort of thing.”

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