INDEPENDENT NEWS

Postal Workers Union warns of widespread mail scam

Published: Sun 11 Aug 2019 05:07 PM
Postal Workers Union warns of widespread mail scam originating in Malaysia
Union president visiting Malaysia tracks scam travel company
to a fictitious address
The Postal Workers Union has written to the Malaysian High Commission seeking a meeting about scam mail coming into New Zealand from Malaysia. The particular scam the Union is concerned about is a series of related travel company scams which it appears are attempting to steal money from vulnerable New Zealand residents.
Two years ago the union raised its concerns about a similar scam which appears to have now reappeared. The Union has had new reports over the past four weeks that scam letters originating from Malaysia are again being delivered in the mail to New Zealand residents. Union members became aware of the contents of these scam letters through family members and friends who have received them. PWUA members delivering mail have told the union that they do not want to be used as unwitting accomplices in a scam to steal money from vulnerable New Zealanders.
The union wishes to discuss with the Malaysian High Commission what action can be taken to prevent New Zealand residents, especially those elderly New Zealanders living in retirement villages, from being scammed because they may not have any immediate family at hand to alert them to the scam.
Recipients throughout the country of personally addressed scam letters may not necessarily realise that the several thousand dollars of a so-called tax they are required to pay to a Malaysian bank account to have their prize ‘released’ is a scam, and they will not be receiving the six figure prize money they may believe they have won. We have no way of knowing how many people may have already been scammed.
The scam can be identified as arriving in the mail in a half A4 size envelope with Malaysian stamps and without a return address on the envelope. The letters are personally addressed to the recipients with their full home address. The contents are usually a fold-out colour pamphlet promoting overseas holidays and including two scratchie tickets. Invariably one of the scratchie panels reveals simply a “thank you” but often the second scratchie reveals a 2nd prize ranging from $150,000 to over $US200,000.
In late 2017 I myself, the union president, was a recipient of a “Secret Life of Tourism” promotion with a $US150,000 2nd prize which I received in the mail from Malaysia personally addressed to me at my home address. I have retained the envelope, attached. (The Union has since been forwarded and holds three other ‘winning’ tickets - two for 2nd prizes of $US180,000 and one for a 2nd prize of $US190,000 from concerned recipients, two of these tickets are also attached, along with one unsuccessful "thank you" ticket.)
I travelled to Malaysia last year on annual leave and while there I attempted to track down the scam company from which I had received the prize.
The office address of the sender on the 2nd prize ticket I received was Integra Tower Aker Solutions, 427, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. (See attached ticket address panel.)
When I arrived in central Kuala Lumpur I quickly discovered that Integra Tower is not at 427 Jalan Tun Razak as printed on the scam ticket, but at 348 Jalan Tun Razak. Integra Tower is a modern 40 storey office block owned by the Malaysian Government’s Retirement Fund, KWAP.
I met with a representative of the KWAP and explained that having discovered Integra Tower was owned by the Malaysian Government’s Retirement Fund, New Zealand residents, including those in retirement villages, may be being scammed by a company using a reputable overseas national retirement fund as an attempt to authenticate the scam.
I left my personal $US150,000 ‘prize winning’ ticket with a representative of KWAP in Kuala Lumpur as evidence of the scam. I asked that the KWAP consider meeting with the national bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara, with a view to investigating overseas money transactions being received by the scam companies.
The Postal Workers Union regards the likelihood of New Zealand residents being scammed as a matter of urgency.
The Union wants to meet with the High Commission to discuss how New Zealand residents can be protected from having their money stolen by scam travel companies based in Malaysia.
John Maynard
President
Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa

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