Malaysia Starize Travelling Group
You’ve just won 150,000 US dollars! It is second prize in a lottery being conducted by the Malaysian Starize Travelling Group as a promotion, and joy of joys, your “scratchie” has turned up trumps.
But then, so has everyone else who has contacted WA ScamNet about the eight page glossy travel brochure with its accompanying lucky lottery ticket inside.
It’s quite a professional looking pack (see image below)., with the Starize group promoting itself as leading organisation in the tourism industry for over twenty years. A search shows its website was only registered through a Chinese ISP on 20 March, 2009.
A condition of collecting your alleged winnings is that “all prize winners must make available their personal details. Winners must also meet any applicable taxes or other charges”.
One complainant who contacted the scam promoters was asked to confirm their identity by faxing copies of their passport, birth certificate and driver’s licence.
The complainant was then contacted by a “Mr Lee” of the “Hong Kong Monetary Fund Company” who advised the Hong Kong Government required a six percent fee to transfer the funds. Mr Lee generously offered to pay half the fee on the winner’s behalf, saying they would only have to wire him $4,500 to receive their prize.
When pressed to provide information to the winners in writing, the scammers quickly backed-off.
Not surprisingly, Consumer Protection has also been unable to contact those behind the offer.
Australia Post has confirmed a consignment of about one thousand brochures passed through its processing facility in mid April 2009.
So if you get a large white envelope or a large tan envelope with a typed address that looks almost handwritten, containing material from Starize, our advice is to bin it.