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956 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 240599 16-Sep-2018 13:36
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A friend has just called over with two glossy colour brochures headed: Air Valencia Travel, Travel to make memories all around the world. The brochures had this address: Wisma MPL, 3/F, 319, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The website is www.airvalencia.travel.com

 

Inside the brochures were 4 "Anniversary 15th Scratch & Win" cards. The 1st prize is cash USD $300,000 and there are two second prizes of cash USD $200,000 each, and three third prizes of USD $120,000 each.

 

So we scratched the first two cards which just revealed the message "Thank You", but when we scratched the other 2 cards, they BOTH revealed the message: "2nd Prize USD $200,000".

 

So, theoretically, my friend is USD $400,000 richer, but after a little research we decided this would be a scam. But at least, it looked genuine and I can imagine some people would fall for it and comply with the condition which states that "prize winners may be obliged to submit taxes or any other mandatory charges as a result of the award."

 

So, if anyone can shed any more light on Air Valencia Travel, this would be interesting. The following article confirmed our suspicions:

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/horowhenua-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503788&objectid=12017932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2091448 16-Sep-2018 14:00
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https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/travel-troubles/106616823/kiwis-targeted-again-by-malaysian-travel-scratchie-scam

Cause we all know if you win a 200,000 prize it's so hard to xfer 197,000 and use the 3k as a fee that it needs to be asked for up front..

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2091451 16-Sep-2018 14:06
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Good chance that some legit. printing company has been scammed as well.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2091471 16-Sep-2018 15:29
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Oblivian: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/travel-troubles/106616823/kiwis-targeted-again-by-malaysian-travel-scratchie-scam

Cause we all know if you win a 200,000 prize it's so hard to xfer 197,000 and use the 3k as a fee that it needs to be asked for up front..

 

Thanks for the above link, the brochure illustrated in that Stuff Article is identical in many ways to the ones my friend received except that the name "Best Memories Travel" has been changed to "Air Valencia Travel". A contact phone number is given as +6016 - 2862 597, but we won't be calling them!

 

The "platinum sponsor" is named as Vicky & Bill Holdings and another supporter is said to be Fuji Xerox, who have denied any association with these fake travel companies.

 

There are so many scams going on all the time, it's a wonder the authorities can't close some of them down. I've seen a lot of emails recently from so-called overseas banks that want to pay out millions of dollars to beneficiaries of a deceased person, provided of course that you pay a few thousand dollars of fees up front. It doesn't seem to matter that you've never even heard of the deceased person mentioned!




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2091686 16-Sep-2018 20:48
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amiga500:

 

Good chance that some legit. printing company has been scammed as well.

 

 

Here's a couple of images from the brochure:

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2091905 17-Sep-2018 12:56
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frednz:

 

There are so many scams going on all the time, it's a wonder the authorities can't close some of them down.

 

 

Which authorities? NZ Police aren't interested, because no crime has been committed in New Zealand. Overseas authorities aren't interested, because there are no victims in their countries. (Scammers are careful to never target someone in the same country as them). And, where exactly are the scammers who are running the scam? And the authorities all know that the chances of identifying, let alone apprehending, let alone prosecuting, let alone punishing, scammers is practically zero, so there's not a lot of point to pursuing them.

 

 

I've seen a lot of emails recently from so-called overseas banks that want to pay out millions of dollars to beneficiaries of a deceased person, provided of course that you pay a few thousand dollars of fees up front. It doesn't seem to matter that you've never even heard of the deceased person mentioned!

 

 

If you've ever answered one of these scam emails, you go onto a list of "at least slightly gullible" people. That list is traded to other scammers, who will immediately target you with other scams. If you actually pay out some money, the scammer will (a) extend that scam as far as possible to extract more, and (b) try you out with several other scams.

 

 


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  Reply # 2091911 17-Sep-2018 13:02
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frednz:

 

A friend has just called over with two glossy colour brochures headed: Air Valencia Travel, Travel to make memories all around the world. The brochures had this address: Wisma MPL, 3/F, 319, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The website is www.airvalencia.travel.com

 

 

For anyone who is slightly geographically aware, there's an awesome, grating discord in a company called "Valencia" operating out of Malaysia. Clearly scammers aren't aware of that; don't make them aware!

 

 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2092190 17-Sep-2018 20:56
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In this article it suggests that: "If you suspect that yourself, or someone you know, has been the victim of a scam, contact your local police station." So perhaps the NZ Police are interested in helping to stop overseas scammers operating here?

 

And this page gives advice for people caught in a scam and provides information about who can help. So it seems that some Government Departments take an interest in the various scams that are going on in NZ and try to warn people against them.

 

But I wonder if NZ Consumer Organisations contact the country of origin of a scam when it’s obvious where the scammers are operating from?

 

I’m not sure that NZ authorities would allow NZ scammers to continue operating, even if their only victims were based overseas. To help preserve NZ’s reputation as a relatively corruption free nation, don’t you think that the Government would somehow close down NZ scammers once they had been brought to their attention by overseas countries? So, it would be good if overseas countries were to take this attitude if NZ authorities were to advise them of scammers operating in their countries!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2092192 17-Sep-2018 21:01
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The Cybercrime Unit within Police focuses specifically on ‘cybercrime’, which includes:

 

  • malware
  • account compromises
  • computer system attacks, and
  • criminal networks online.

CERT NZ takes reports of these types of cybercrimes. In cases where a criminal offence has been committed, CERT NZ will — with the consent of the individual — pass the details of the report to the Police Cybercrime Unit for assessment. Where appropriate, Police will investigate a report and take action against an offender when an offence has been identified.

 

There are of course our allies agreements within the big 5 that share info. But pretty sure outside of that its pin the tail on the very small donkey in a very large field


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  Reply # 2092246 18-Sep-2018 07:23
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frednz:

 

In this article it suggests that: "If you suspect that yourself, or someone you know, has been the victim of a scam, contact your local police station." So perhaps the NZ Police are interested in helping to stop overseas scammers operating here?

 

And this page gives advice for people caught in a scam and provides information about who can help. So it seems that some Government Departments take an interest in the various scams that are going on in NZ and try to warn people against them.

 

But I wonder if NZ Consumer Organisations contact the country of origin of a scam when it’s obvious where the scammers are operating from?

 

I’m not sure that NZ authorities would allow NZ scammers to continue operating, even if their only victims were based overseas. To help preserve NZ’s reputation as a relatively corruption free nation, don’t you think that the Government would somehow close down NZ scammers once they had been brought to their attention by overseas countries? So, it would be good if overseas countries were to take this attitude if NZ authorities were to advise them of scammers operating in their countries!

 

 

I answered in the context of "Why don't the authorities shut down scammers?". I accept that, in general, NZ authorities are interested in protecting NZers from scams. And scammers of any sort operating in NZ are shut down ASAP. But scammers such as in the OP can't shut them down, because they're almost never happening in NZ.

 

Identifying the "country of origin" isn't trivial... just because it gives a Malaysian address doesn't mean that it is necessarily operating from Malaysia. And various aspects of the scam may be operated from different countries... bulk emails sent by lads in Nigeria, the head honcho coordinating from the UK, a functionary in Malaysia sending out brochures.

 

Regrettably, in corrupt countries like Nigeria, the authorities are in on the scam. When I was involved in anti-scam activities about 10 years ago, scam income was a significant part (IIRC, 6th biggest foreign currency earner) of Nigeria's income. The authorities would raid scam houses who hadn't paid protection money. A bank or Western Union employee would ignore ID requirements for a cut of the payment. IDs themselves were a negotiable commodity.

 

 


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  Reply # 2092252 18-Sep-2018 07:49
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The problem really is how do you educate people about scams when we seemingly have so many people in society who quite frankly aren't smart enough to comprehend such things?

 

You'd think that any reasonably intelligent person who pays even the slightest bit of attention to either the news or social media would be aware of dealing with a company like Viagogo. I personally have no issue with them (I've purchased tickets from them and accept they are a legitimate ticket seller and reseller) but after every recent media story once again there were people on the weekend who found their All Blacks tickets had been cancelled. The people commented they had no idea about Viagogo or their history.

 

 




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  Reply # 2092321 18-Sep-2018 09:15
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Here are 2 further images from the brochure:

 

https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/bc6dfbbd1c378baf1cbdc6adedf0a64f.jpg

 

https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/8aa3c7678c74e44c1628c194a12e90a3.jpg

 

Under the heading "Plan", it makes this claim:

 

"Our company has always been elevating tourism hotspots from unknown locations to be known globally. This year we have invested USD 5 million on the establishment of a new 5 star hotel with a new adventure theme park in New Zealand."

 

I guess that statement should be a "red light" for someone to check! But, some Kiwis are just nice unsuspecting people (not just the elderly or those with early stage dementia) and it wouldn't occur to them to check out every single thing that comes to them through the post or by email. But others have an enquiring mind and check out everything and this scam is busted with the very first Google search that you care to make!

 

This brochure does supply some contact phone numbers and a "street" address (which may or may not be genuine), but "winners" have to make contact with them somehow! You would think the Malaysian authorities could at least check out these contact details as a first stop to eliminating this scam?

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2095305 24-Sep-2018 08:54
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More grating to me is the sheer volume of grammatical errors in that brochure. I know they're intentional because they raise the level of disbelief in suspicious people, which is designed to weed them out of the running before the scammers invest any time on them (that's actually been proven - there was an interview with a Nigerian scammer once where they confirmed it) but still, some are just really obvious, like the use of three tenses in the same sentence!


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