Media Releases

Commission warns public about Blazing Whale and November Rain travel scratchie scams

20 November 2015

The Commerce Commission is warning the public to be wary of two travel scratchie scams being run from Malaysia and appearing in New Zealanders’ mail boxes. The scratchies being distributed by Blazing Whale Travel and November Rain Travel are the latest iterations of this on-going scam.

The scams involve travel brochures, which are professionally printed and written in imperfect English. The brochures state that large prizes are up for grabs in the two scratchie cards enclosed.  One of the scratchie cards almost always reveals that the consumer has won a large amount of money, such as $165,000 US dollars.

Consumers who have attempted to claim their prize have been told that a payment of between $3,000 and $5,000 is required to be paid through Western Union or by bank transfer in order to cover clearing fees and local taxes. Upon payment they have been reassured that their prize will be released to them. However, the consumers never received their prize.

Competition General Manager Kate Morrison says Malaysian travel scratchie cards are a scam commonly observed in New Zealand, with new versions frequently appearing and being reported to authorities.

“Unfortunately these scammers are occasionally successful so they continue. They rely on people who are overly trusting and want to believe they really have struck it lucky. We strongly encourage people who receive any unsolicited brochures and scratchie cards from Blazing Whale Travel, November Rain Travel or similar entities to ignore this correspondence.”

Further examples of the many Malaysian travel scratchie scams that have been sent to New Zealand consumers have been compiled by the Department of Internal Affairs and are available on their website.

Scratchie example

An example of a Malaysian travel scratchie scam

More information

See more scam warnings from the Commission.