A Tauranga resident is warning people to be careful of scam pamphlets and scratchies after she received a dubious travel brochure in the mail.

Maureen Duncan, 79, found a pamphlet addressed to her late husband in her mailbox around a week ago.

The pamphlet was written by Malaysia-based 'Top of the Glass Tour' which claimed to offer island getaways throughout Asia. The brochure said the company had sent out thousands of "complimentary scratch cards" to celebrate its 16th birthday.

Duncan said the pamphlet held two scratchies, one of which claimed she had won USD$220,000.

Advertisement

"I just about had a heart attack," she said.

"I put it aside to show my daughter who said, 'no way, that's a scam.'"

She urged people to be careful and hoped no one fell for the scam.

"People are just getting ripped off. All the scammers want is everything you've ever worked for," she said.

"Chop it up and put it in a bin," she advised.

A police media spokeswoman said a scratchie or raffle-type scam is very common and has been around for a long time.

She said scammers often target more vulnerable members of the community and police encourage people to talk to elderly family members and share information and advice with them.