Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : April 12, 2017 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2017 - PAGE 9
By phone 0466 539 927
This is your chance to be famous and have
your photography in the newspaper. You
can clip it out and show your Mom, or your
Nanna, or your children or just stick it on
the fridge! Frankly, if I win, mine is going
straight to the Pool Room.
Seriously, each week Photo Rangers,
that's us, will select one photo from San
Remo or Phillip Island on Instagram
tagged with #LovePhillipIsland to be
featured in the Wednesday edition of the
Phillip Island & San Remo Advertiser. The
first competition winner will be published
on the 19th of April so I'm giving you a little
While you're tagging #LovePhillipIsland,
be sure and follow
@photo_rangers on Instagram.
There you go, now get out there and take
some pictures of San Remo and Phillip
Island and tag them on Instagram with
#LovePhillipIsland for your chance to
have your shot featured in the paper!
Instagram photo competition
THE Phillip Island and San Remo Advertis-
er has combined with local photography busi-
ness Photo Rangers, to conduct an Instagram
Photography competition each week.
Readers are invited to submit photos taken
on San Remo or Phillip Island, which capture
the essence of our beautiful environment.
Tag your entries on Instagram with #Love-
Phillip Island or Photo Rangers.
And Photo Rangers will select a winning
photo weekly, which will be published in the
So get your cameras out and start clicking,
readers, as there’s no shortage of scenic and
beautiful places to snap.
The competition, which begins this week,
is open to locals and tourists of all ages and
Chinese cybercrime hits PINP
PHILLIP Island Nature Parks is among
some of Australia’s best known attractions
and events to be hit by a sophisticated scam
operating through Chinese social media plat-
form WeChat, stealing potentially millions
from Australian businesses.
And the Victorian Chamber of Commerce
and Industry and Victoria Tourism Industry
Council (VTIC) warns other local and smaller
businesses to be on the lookout for fraudu-
VTIC launched an awareness campaign on
this issue last week, after canvassing Victo -
rian businesses on the impact of the fraud.
Nine members of VTIC, including major city
and regional attractions have reported being
affected, with a cumulated loss of more than
$350,000 to March, which does not include
the bank fees or lost sales.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and In-
dustry chief executive Mark Stone said this
issue was more widespread and pervasive
than it appeared when the scam first emerged
“ Last year, Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
reported it had lost more than $100,000 , and
we were aware some Victorian operators had
been hit, but we discovered this is just the tip
of the iceberg, ” he said.
“Some of our most famous tourism attrac-
tions, like the Penguin Parade at Phillip Is-
land, are getting defrauded every day, to the
point where they have people checking online
bookings before the doors open to suspend
tickets they believe may have been fraudu-
lently paid for.
“ This is a sophisticated scam where there is
no limit as to who could be affected, and we
have concerns that any Australian businesses
that provide a ticketing system or service pay-
able online could be targeted. ”
Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief
executive Brad Ostermeyer said the scale of
the issue became more apparent after VTIC
convened a meeting of major tourism opera-
tors, including Eureka SkyDeck, Peninsula
Hot Springs, Phillip Island Nature Parks,
Skybus, Sovereign Hill and Global Balloon-
ing and found the sum lost was hundreds of
thousands of dollars at a minimum.
“I t quickly became clear that tourism opera-
tors were handling this problem as isolated
incidents when it is major fraud happening
across the country, ” Mr Ostermeyer said.
“We want to raise awareness of the issue
and are calling for all affected Victorian busi-
nesses to contact us.
“Particularly smaller operators who may
not know they have been affected need to re -
port it to the police.
“For some small or family operated attrac-
tions, these losses could threaten their busi-
PINP CEO Catherine Basterfield, speaking
last week, said that PINP discovered the fraud
after being contacted by the bank.
“I t is largely targeting Chinese visitors, who
are also victims, ” Ms Basterfield said.
“They are shocked when they find their tick-
ets are invalid, as they believe they have pur-
chased them legitimately. ”
Ms Basterfield did not wish to disclose the
extent of the loss suffered, but said it was not
substantial, and that PINP had put controls
in place to minimise the impact of the scam.
“But it is an important warning to other
tourism providers to be on the alert, ” she
“Police have been made aware of the situ-
How the scam operates
The scam operates by selling fake discount-
ed tickets to genuine tourists and using sto -
len credit cards to buy a real ticket with the
details of the tourist who paid a discounted
The fraud is usually discovered weeks later,
when the operator must refund the cost of the
ticket to the stolen credit card owner, pay a
bank fee, and absorb the cost of giving away a
free pass to the tourist who paid a discounted
The scam operator in China keeps the ini-
tial money paid for the discounted ticket.
San Remo NDIS info session
THE National Disability Insurance Scheme
(NDIS) is the new way of providing support
for people with a disability in Australia.
The NDIS will provide about 460,000 Aus-
tralians under the age of 65 with a perma-
nent and significant disability with services
and supports they need to live an ordinary
The NDIS is being introduced in stages
around the country over three years to en-
sure it is successful and sustainable.
NDIS information sessions are being held
in the Gippsland region this month.
These sessions are aimed at the broad
community, including people with disability
who may be eligible for the NDIS, and local
organisations interested in doing business
with the NDIS.
The NDIS will become available in the
Gippsland area from October 1 this year.
The Gippsland area covers the local govern-
ment areas of Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Latrobe
and South Gippsland.
It is expected that up to 4600 people will
be eligible to join the NDIS in this region -
an increase of more 1300 people from those
currently receiving support.
San Remo info session
An information session is planned for San
Remo on Thursday, May 4 at 1.30pm–3pm.
Venue is the San Remo Recreation Centre
in Wynne Avenue.
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