$175,000 ticket scam revealed

By Roger Moroney

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It's not every day you rub a scratch-and-win ticket to reveal you've just picked up $175,000.

But Taradale man Ivan Brown was far from leaping about with joy over his so-called big win.

Two things had him wondering: the cash prize was in US dollars and the scratch ticket was one of two which had been mailed to him from Malaysia.

"It wasn't a franked envelope - they used stamps," Mr Brown said.

"And I've never heard of them so I have no idea how they got hold of my name."

Apart from some bewilderment he had one other reaction: "Too good to be true".

Hawke's Bay Police crime prevention adviser Paul Miller agreed and described the "professional looking" brochures and scratch tickets as "a variation on a theme" - a scamming theme.

"I've not come across this one before - it's a new one on me - they are coming out all the time. It's pretty regular these days."

Mr Brown received the letter last Thursday and said it was from a business in Kuala Lumpur called Corus.

It had been sent out as part of 10-year celebrations the company, which described itself as being in the holiday business, was allegedly staging.

He scratched the first ticket and it revealed "thank you" while the second one showed a US$175,000 ($205,000) win.

The instructions called for him to send his full name and address, occupation and other contact details.

"Good thing is we don't have a computer," he said, suspecting the "company" would get to him that way.

Mr Miller said similar scams resulted in the "winner" eventually being asked to send a small sum of money to make the cash transfer.

"That's when they get you."

He said today's scams were well produced, looked professional and were also laid out to look "very realistic".

Mr Brown said he had the site checked out by someone with a computer and it came back with a "scamwatch" warning. He said he would pass the brochures and tickets on to police.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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