FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD MOVE TO BLOCK INTERNATIONAL SCAMS
A sophisticated internet scam offering $US10 million ($AU13 million) has hit Australia with demands for $US650 ($AU845) to verify recipients' entitlements.
Unsuspecting internet users are receiving copies of what appear to be genuine bank cheques verifying their supposed entitlement.
The cheques are in the name of the African Development Bank and drawn on the World Bank with the name of person scammed being shown as the legal payee.
Supporting documents being sent with the emails include fake United Nations and Nigerian Government certificates certifying the transaction does not contravene anti-terrorism, drug or money laundering laws.
A woman from the Ipswich suburb of Gailes contacted Australian Consumer Watch asking if the offer was genuine.
After inspecting the documents, Consumer Watch spokesman Ipswich Councillor Paul warned her of the scam and told her to destroy the emails she had received.
Cr Tully said it a new twist on the Nigerian scam which has been around for almost a decade.
"These documents look genuine and people who have just signed up to the internet could easily be duped by this multi-million dollar easy offer."
Cr Tully said this sort of internet scam had reached epidemic proportions in Australia with hundreds of people being conned every year.
"The Federal government should require all Australian-based ISPs to block these sorts of emails.
"Too many people are hurting, especially in lower socio-economic suburbs around Australia, who don't realise they are being scammed as they jump at the chance to become instant millionaires for $845.
"They cannot afford to fork out this amount on their pensions or other welfare benefits but the ten million dollars being offered is very tempting.
"If it's good enough for the Federal Government to stop internet pornography, it should stop criminally-fraudulent emails as well.
The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would give the people of Australia a tremendous outcome if we became the first country in the world to officially block these sorts of scams on the internet."
AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER WATCH
CR PAUL TULLY
PO BOX 1
GOODNA QLD 4300
"Australian Consumer Watch - Local Members helping consumers across Australia."