Unexpected Money, Winnings and Employment Scams
What is an unexpected money or winnings scam?
An unexpected money or winnings scam is when you are asked to pay money up front or give your personal details to receive money or a prize. These scams are also known as inheritance, Nigerian prince, rebate, scratchie, travel prize, lottery or unexpected money scams.
What is an employment scam?
An employment scam is when you are offered a job that requires an upfront payment for training, materials or stock and the job does not exist or you are unable to earn enough to recoup your investment.
The fake employer may steal your information by requesting things like a copy of your Driver’s Licence or Passport, as part of the application process.
What they're after
Unexpected money, winnings and employment scammers are after your money by asking for payments up front or personal information to steal your identity or money. They may also want you to unknowingly perform illegal activities such as transferring money or goods on their behalf, as part of money laundering criminal activities.
Signs this may be a job or money scam
A person contacts you with “authentic” looking documentation saying you are owed money, an inheritance or have won a prize.
Do not give personal details or pay money. Research details on the internet or only call numbers you trust.
You are requested to pay for training, starter kits or have been asked to provide extensive personal information, prior to starting your new job.
Do not act. This may be a scam leaving you out of pocket or your identity stolen.
The job requires you to find other investors/employees to make money.
Do not engage. This may be an illegal pyramid scheme where profits are mainly made from new people joining the company or system.
The job pays a commission to make transfers on a client’s behalf through your own account, cash, wire transfers or crypto currencies.
Do not do this. This may be money laundering and is a federal crime punishable by imprisonment.
Who should I contact if I encounter examples of unexpected money and employment scam?
- Please report scams or suspicious activity immediately to Westpac at 132 032 or 61 2 9155 7700 (if calling from overseas).
- Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com or sms/text messages to 0497 132 032 then delete the email or message.
- Report all suspicious activity to the Australian Cyber Security Centre at cyber.gov.au/report.
- Contact IDCARE toll-free on 1800 595 160 or visit their website idcare.org. They provide free, confidential support and guidance to people who have been targeted by fraud, scams, identity theft or compromise.
- Keep up to date on scams by subscribing to the government's scam email alerts from scamwatch.gov.au/subscribe.
- Check out our latest scams, for copies of recently reported scams at westpac.com.au/scams.
Things you should know
* Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.