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Warning over scratchie scam: ‘Don’t be lured’

Scratchie tickets can be a lot of fun, but scammers are also taking advantage.

A composite image of a fake scratchie and a classic Australian newsagent.
Aussies have been warned about fake scratchies. (Source: Scamwatch / Getty)

Scratchie scams are turning up with the offer of large prizes but, in reality, aim to steal your money.

Scamwatch issued a warning to Aussies to be on the lookout for scratchie scams, which request the potential victim to pay to redeem their prize.

“Don't be lured by fake scratchie scams claiming you've won but you can only access your prize if you pay entry/exit fees or taxes to claim your winnings. In the end you'll never get the ‘prize’ or your money back,” Scamwatch said.

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While Scamwatch no longer keeps track of scratchie-scam data, historical data from 2021 revealed Aussies lost more than $14,500 over the year. The year 2020 was even worse for scratchie scams, with Aussies losing a massive $243,000.

“Scratchie cards are sometimes used in promotions, lotteries or competitions, beckoning users to ‘scratch and win an instant prize’, for example travel or holidays,” Scamwatch said.

“While some scratchie cards may represent legitimate lotteries or competitions, you should be extremely suspicious of any scratchie card that requires a payment to claim a prize.”

Scratchie scams will offer an instant prize, but Scmawatch warned when the potential victim attempts to claim the prize, they will be asked to pay various fees.

“The scammer may request bank details and photo identification. In some rare cases you may be asked to travel overseas to collect your winnings,” it said.

“The scam package may include professional-looking brochures, often for accommodation, which are designed to trick you into thinking the competition is legitimate. It may include contact details for a business overseas and a web address for a fraudulent but professional-looking website.”

Scamwatch said upfront payments could be as high as a few thousands dollars.

“If you pay, you will not receive the prize, and you will never see your money again. If you provide your personal details, they may be used for further fraudulent activity such as identity crime,” Scamwatch said.

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