Dad just won $180,000! It must be true because, out of the blue, he received two scratch cards only one of which won anything. The scratch cards included assurances of privacy, rules, and details of how to claim a prize. The cards came with a glossy brochure from Magic Seven Travel celebrating its 12th anniversary.
At first glance it looked fairly convincing. On closer inspection there were a few things that didn’t add up. The letter, which had stamps that showed it came from Malaysia, was not only to my father, but also my mother who had died four years ago. The brochure didn’t really say much about travel and generally didn’t read very well. Dad hadn’t had any contact with a travel agency like this. Anyway, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
But I can see how some people could be fooled by the glossy brochure and the quality of the scratch card.
It is a variation of a scam that has been around for quite a while (see Fake lottery tickets can turn Canberra ‘winners’ into big losers in a hurry). If you contact them, you’ll have to pay fees or taxes before being able to claim your prize. Over the last 12 months, Australians have lost over $1 million to unexpected prize and lottery scams.
While I’m sure Dad (who recently turned 90) would not have fallen for this scam, we have stopped him in the past from responding to official looking emails which were scams. One of the advantages of strong families and communities is that we can keep an eye out for each other and help avoid these types of scam.
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