Police look into origin of 'scam' email offer

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 05:00 20/05/2014

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A voucher giveaway website says it has been wrongly accused as the source of a scam email that the police are now assessing.

Database marketing company eGentic, which operates in 30 countries, says it has been caught up in someone else's scam.

Last week House of Travel issued a warning about an email claiming to be from House of Travel, offering the chance to win vouchers worth $1000.

The email links to a website, www.greatkiwivoucher.com, asking visitors to select two $1000 vouchers from House of Travel, New World, Kmart or Visa.

House of Travel said recipients should delete the email immediately. House of Travel vouchers had now been removed from the website and replaced with MasterCard vouchers.

The voucher website is run by Planet 49 Asia Pacific Pte subsidary eGentic.

Gotham Bhatia, the New Zealand sales manager for eGentic, said the emails were not sent by eGentic but instead a US email address, which Planet 49 Asia Pacific Pte headquarters in Singapore were now investigating.

"We just got caught up in their scam."

He said the sweepstake competitions it ran were legitimate and complied with New Zealand law.

The scam email had been damaging to the company's image and this was the first time eGentic or Planet 49 Asia Pacific Pte had been caught up in a scam email, he said.

A police spokesperson said police were aware of a circulating scam offering cash vouchers and were assessing the matter.

House of Travel spokeswoman Jo Wedlock said an external company, which managed House of Travel information technology, informed the company that the email looked "very similar" to another scam that went around a few years ago.

Antoinette Shallue, a spokeswoman for Foodstuffs, which owns New World, said the supermarket chain had no connection to the offer.

She said a similar email had done the rounds in the past and she believed it was a tactic used for "data mining".

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