Yellow Pages 21st Century Sweepstake
Let your fingers do the walking and flick this letter purporting to come from Yellow Pages 21st Century Sweepstake.
The letter claims you have won $80,000 in a sweepstake bonanza and includes a nice little bank cheque worth $8000.
But this scam is all about smoke and mirrors – the sweepstake doesn’t exist, it is not connected to Yellow Pages as we know them and the cheque is counterfeit.
The letter claims that the monies are proceeds of the surplus generated from advertisements listed in the Yellow Pages directory. PlasmaNet Inc will release the funds to you.
As part of the scam, people receive an initial cheque as part payment of the prize and are then asked to provide their full bank details, a direct deposit authorisation, and a sample voided personal cheque.
But Sensis, which operates Yellow Pages, have confirmed that the letter is a scam. Arab Bank Australia Ltd, whose name and ABN number is used, have also confirmed the cheque is counterfeit and are extremely concerned that a number of Western Australians have tried to cash the cheques. Both companies contacted WA ScamNet to alert consumers to this scam.
Sensis said: “People need to be very careful whenever any person or organisation requests their personal details especially when it’s banking or financial information.
“If someone is claiming to be from Yellow (Pages) and you have any doubts you should request their details and contact us on 13 23 78 to verify they are legitimate”.
The scam actually falls into the category of an overpayment scam. The cheque supposedly covers a 10% administration fee, which the scammers will ask you to return via Western Union transfer. The scammers are banking on you sending the money before realising that the cheque is a fake.
The scammers also ask you to sign a direct deposit authorisation to allow them to deposit money into your account. However the form also includes an authorisation allowing scammers to take money out of your account!!! Sign this and you sign away your money to the scammers!!!
This is not the first rogue overseas business conducting scams that falsely claim some association with Yellow Pages.
Sensis advise that other scams include overseas businesses posing as Yellow Pages sales consultants. As part of these sales scams, businesses are often asked to confirm their business details such as their ABN number, the name of the business’ owner and directors and in some instances, to renew their existing Yellow Pages directory advertisements. In reality, they are being tricked into providing sensitive business information and possibly being falsely billed for advertising space in non-existent directory products.
As Sensis aptly states: “People need to be very careful whenever any person or organisation requests their personal details especially when it’s banking or financial information.”