The Australian government is warning against the scam

Friday, January 29, 2010
Issue 928, Page 4
Word count: 260
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Macau Judiciary Police’s message regarding casino prize SMS scams can be well supported by an alert issued August last year by SCAMwatch, a website owned and maintained by the Australian Government’s Competition and Consumer Commission.

Titled “Grand Sands Casino fake prize SMS scam!”, the alert is warning Australians to be aware of a “new telemarketing scam where scammers send text messages to advise consumers they have won ‘third prize’ in a bogus prize draw”.

One of the example text messages provided to SCAMwatch reads: “Last Notice: Your mobile No. has won 3rd prize in our activities with cert No.J4192, pls contact us ASAP, or else your award will be cancel. GSCI company:03-90105706”.

According to the website, the text messages appear to be sent by “Grand Sands Casino Investment” (GSCI) from Macau and include details of a fake prize, valued at US$100 000.

When SMS recipients ring the hotline number, they are told they have won the “lucky draw” door prize for a press conference held at the Rialto Tower in Melbourne – which in fact never took place.

SCAMwatch also said that callers are asked to provide personal details such as their licence number, home address and banking information. They are also asked to make a AUD$2000 payment to cover part of the 20 percent “winnings tax” that allegedly applies in Macau.

“While it appears that the hotline is a Melbourne number, SCAMwatch warns it is possible for scammers to use numbers that appear to originate from within Australia when they are actually routed to overseas locations,” the alert continues.

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