Be cautious of lottery scam
SCAMS come in all shapes and sizes and anyone can be a victim, which is why Bruce Pearce wants to alert people about the latest con to watch out for.
Like other “too good to be true” scams, Mr Pearce was sent a letter announcing he had won a substantial amount of money in a foreign lottery.
Sent by fax to his place of business, Fisherman's Haul, the letter announced they were the beneficiaries of a lump sum payout of $US1,500,000. The “winner” need only contact a Spanish solicitor, chosen to represent them, before they could collect the winnings.
“I gave the Fair Trading mob a call and they said it was a hoax,” Mr Pearce told The Gympie Times yesterday.
“The problem is, there are people out there who will try their luck on something like this. I just wanted to make sure people were aware it was (circulating) out there and to be careful.”
Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor said the Office of Fair Trading received 2,173 complaints relating to scams last year and people young and old had been caught out.
“Scammers reach people's homes through multiple means – it might come in your letter box, email inbox, via a telephone call or knock at the door,” he said.
“In almost all cases, you're asked to pay a small fee or divulge some sort of personal information – perhaps identifying details or your bank account information to reap the reward.”
Mr Lawlor said the best way to protect yourself was to do your research before taking up any offer for a product or service or getting involved in a scheme.