A number of scams are circulating at the moment, including one targeting victims with the lure of shopping vouchers to Countdown supermarket.
Consumers are advised that Countdown does not ask for personal details such as PIN numbers over the phone or online, and the supermarket strongly encourages customers not to give out personal details to anyone claiming to be from the chain.
The scam, in both text and email form, has been telling customers they have won Countdown vouchers ranging from $50 to $2500, asking people to participate in surveys or confirming delivery of orders they have not placed.
Countdown advises that sometimes they do send out texts to customers who have registered to receive them, but they will come from the number 800. Online shopping customers will receive text messages from the number 4141 for delivery and 5872 for pick up.
When receiving an email from any company, make sure you check the email address it has been sent from – if the email address seems strange, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com –
do not click on any links, including the unsubscribe button. Also, be aware of fake Facebook pages – Countdown’s official page has a blue tick next to it, making it as verified.
Scratch and win tickets from New Balance Tour have also been appearing in people’s letterboxes, telling them they have won $200,000. This scam is what’s known as an advanced fee fraud- a scam designed to extract money from unsuspecting “winners”, by asking for a few thousand dollars to cover administrative costs and taxes so they can claim their big prize. This is similar to the people in Nigeria seeking your help to liberate all that money they have stuck in the bank for want of a few thousand dollars in processing fees that they need from you.
The scratch and win scammers will also ask you to hand over person details such as passport numbers and credit card details. Normally two tickets will come accompanied with a glossy and professional-looking brochure. Netsafe advises not to hand over any personal details, obviously, but also not to call the scammers to check it out as they will likely be using a premium rate telephone number. The company names associated with these scams change almost weekly, so it is best to live by the adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.