Local News

WeChat scam impacts Ballarat tourism operator

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Ballarat's Kryal Castle is among a string of tourist operators targeted by the re-emergence of a voucher scam targeting Chinese tourists.

Sea World, Geelong's Adventure Park, ski operators and supermarkets have also been caught up in the fraud which has turned up on Chinese social media platform WeChat.
 
The Age is reporting 'Global Ballooning', who market heavily in China has lost $50,000 over the last 5 years.

This is how the scam works. A fake travel company places a sponsored ad on WeChat offering a discounted ticket or promotional offer for a popular tourist attraction. Unsuspecting customers, who are often Chinese students, then transfer money into an Australian bank account held by the fake company. The fraudsters then book the attraction in the customer’s name using stolen credit card details.

If the scam is detected before the customer makes use of their ticket, the customer is out of pocket. 
 
An Adelaide woman who had never left South Australia had a $102 charge to Kryal Castle placed on her credit card back on December 26th last year.
 
The scam first emerged in 2016.
 
 
 
Image: Radio Ballarat