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Phishing for a Holiday

In keeping with the interruption theme, I was interrupted by a phone call from an Indian woman telling me in a toneless voice that I should be excited as I had just won a holiday.

And not just any holiday, I have won five nights accommodation for two to a three or four star hotel of my choice anywhere within Australia. If I am prepared to provide contact details of additional people, I can get an extra two nights, absolutely free. Was I excited?

Not really.

I travel an awful lot for work, so staying in Australia for a holiday doesn’t appeal to me. I am also single, so the twin share thing doesn’t interest me either. I have recently booked to go snowboarding in Japan. Much more interesting than a local trip. But if my Australian holiday is free?

Curious as to whether I really wanted this, I pressed for more details.

Apparently, all I need to do to claim my prize is to pay a $99 booking fee using my credit card. Alarm bells start ringing here. Someone I have no previous dealings with wants my credit card details for a booking fee for a holiday? Even if this is legit, it really smells bad.

Asking for more information was a difficult task, as the entire call was scripted to the point that I wondered if I needed to speak to keep it going.

With further questioning, I was provided with a web site as some level of proof of the offer’s legitimacy. Alas, the domain wasn’t registered yet. Not compelling evidence of a real company.

In the end, I graciously declined the offer as I am not prepare to pay the booking fee. In theory, I will receive a call once I have a chance to digest the wonderful offer I am passing up.

I wonder how many credit cards these guys have acquired using this scam? Too many is the likely answer.

For now, I will wait with bated breath for my holiday.