Massive haul of scam mail destroyed
26 August 2014
The largest seizure of scam mail in Western Australian history will be destroyed today after being intercepted in a joint operation between Consumer Protection and Australia Post.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said more than 346,000 letters had been seized since February this year, promoting more than 100 different scams to Australian householders.
“This year’s haul has more than tripled from last year, showing that although scam mail interception methods are improving, clearly the scam business is booming,” Mr Mischin said.
“The increase indicates that overseas promoters continue to cash in on innocent people and are prepared to send enormous amounts of mail to increase their chances of getting a return.
“Postal workers and Consumer Protection are becoming more proficient at identifying suspect mail, but it’s not possible to locate all scam items, so WA householders need to be aware of the tempting tactics of scammers to entice people to part with their money.
“I urge all West Australians who receive these scams in the mail not to respond in any way and certainly not to reveal any personal or financial information, or send any money.
“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
Some of the main scams in the latest haul include:
order forms for dubious health products which are disguised as claims for winning thousands of dollars in prize money
a clairvoyant’s life predictions, lucky lottery numbers and secrets to success that promise good luck and fortune - for a small fee
prizes and lotteries that don’t exist, fake scratch cards and sweepstakes tickets.
“By responding to this scam mail, recipients open themselves up to be bombarded with more junk mail in the future, so our advice is to throw all suspect mail in the bin,” the Minister said.
“If people have any doubts about the authenticity of an offer, they should seek advice from WA ScamNet at Consumer Protection.”
About 3,000 letters were intercepted in 2009, rising to about 100,000 last year
The mail transits through Brunei before being intercepted at Australia Post’s international gateway facility at Perth Airport. The majority of the mail has a return PO Box addresses in the Netherlands, with a small number using a New Zealand address. It is believed the mail is then redirected to other unknown destinations
More information on scams available at http://www.scamnet.wa.gov.au
Scam victims should contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email
Minister’s office - 6552 5600