There has been a rise in scams over the Christmas period with people pretending to be from Australia Post, electricity, gas or phone companies trying to get access to personal and bank or credit card information that can be used for identity theft or fraud.
Please be very careful of anyone who approaches you with claims of unexpected prizes, money or winnings, attempts to gain your personal information, threats or extortion to gain access to your computer or identity, phone calls or emails that claim your pension or tax return is due for a refund or that you need to pay a bill or debt using unusual methods. The information below has been taken from the www.scamwatch.gov.au website.
The ACCC is warning people to be on the lookout for scammers who are trying to con their victims into paying for scams with Apple iTunes gift cards. The ACCC says that “If someone asks you to pay for anything using an iTunes gift card, it is a scam. There are never any circumstances where a legitimate business or government department will ask for payment this way.”
Stay alert to ‘phishing’ scammers pretending to be from well-known businesses and government departments trying to con unsuspecting victims out of their personal information and money. “Scammers use phishing to trick their victims into giving out valuable personal information such as their bank account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers or even their online passwords for their PayPal, Apple or social media accounts. Any personal information you have is potentially valuable to a scammer and they will try to get it off you in a variety of ways,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The vast majority come either via the phone or email. The scammers will pretend to be representatives of well-known organisations, like a bank, Australia post, electricity or phone companies or government department like Centrelink or the Australian Tax Office to give them the air of legitimacy.” “The scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating. These are all part of a scammer’s bag of tricks they use to get you to give up your valuable personal data,” Ms Rickard said.
If you have received an email, phone call or letter that you are worried about and uncertain if it is legitimate, please just hang up if it’s a phone call and then look up the contact details of the company from a reliable source and then call then to see if they were really trying to make contact with you. Never call them back on a number that they have provided without checking to see if it is a real phone number for the Company.
Please visit the scamwatch website and learn about how to be alert to scams, where you can report them and what to do if you have been scammed.
Kim Jackson, Executive Manager