Baida Group phone scam
Your phone rings and what do you know – it’s another telemarketer. This time the person on the end of the line is from Baida Group of Hong Kong. And if you just answer their three question consumer survey you could win an mp4 player!
It’s a way to hook you in and next thing the overseas scammers will want an email and postal address to send you a free “thank you” gift for participating. But you won’t be receiving a gift at all; you’ll get an invitation to a launch event in your nearest capital city.
This scam is targeting people in regional Western Australia pretty safe in the knowledge that they will decline the invitation to an event in Perth’s CBD due to travel costs involved. If at this point you checked up on the venue address – on either Wellington Street or Murray Street – you would find that neither address actually exists.
At the point of declining to attend the event, you are ‘entered into a raffle’, and given a ticket number, along with the details of Baida Group’s website.
I think you may know what’s coming…you’re going to win the raffle (which doesn’t exist, just like those addresses). You’re not going to get first prize – that would be too good to be true. Instead you’ve won the second prize of 450,000 Hong Kong dollars, which is about AU$50,000. You’ll be sent a winners claim form to complete and return via fax to Baida Group’s head office in Hong Kong.
Western Australians who’ve got to this stage of the process have reported to us that they’re then asked to wire transfer $3,500 via Western Union. We anticipate that if anybody did send money they’d get more phone calls and emails to entice them to wire transfer further funds. Thankfully nobody has fallen for this that we know of and let’s keep it that way. Please tell your friends and family about this warning.
Be aware that the scammers will offer you an Australian telephone number in an attempt to add credibility to their claims but they have used technology known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to redirect the call back to them overseas. These numbers are often easy to spot as they commence with (02) 6100 and similar prefixes in different states.
The callers we’ve heard about are using names like: Suzanne, Sam, Lei Huang, Leisel, Monika, Sarah or Jodie. Another business name the scammers may use is Diamond Group or Diamond 2.