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Thursday, 10 November 2011 09:14

The Dark Side of Scratchcard Criminals

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It’s not the theft that worries me. It’s how they got caught.

Type the word ‘scratchcard’ into your news search engine. Go on, I’ll wait. Notice anything peculiar?

Thievery! Scratchcards, more than any other game, inspire theft – the news is full of stories about people making off with dozens of the tickets and happily spending the week playing free scratchcard games. A 38-year old man snatched 56 cards and hid them in his trousers in Market Place. A burglar smashed a Tesco shopfront and made off with a scratchcard dispenser. A 34-year old woman stole more than £10,000 worth of cards from the newsagents where she worked.

Puzzlingly, most of these criminals were discovered when they happily sauntered into a shop and tried to redeem their prizes, and the serial number came up as stolen.

What I lament at this point is not the moral turpitude that allowed the crime to take place, but the monumental stupidity of the criminals involved. Scratchcards are gloriously simple, yes, but is their accessibility and ease of use one of the primary reasons they’re so often stolen?

My advice to those who want some free scratchcard games – leave the newsagents alone. There’s not going to be a safe way for you to redeem them anyway. Try a site like Prime scratchcard, Top scratch or – their bonus means you’ll get to play for free, keep the money you win and avoid jail!