Fremantle’s Welcome Wall targeted by scammers

Stock image.
Stock image.

SCAMMERS have targeted a migrant family through Fremantle’s Welcome Walls at the Maritime Museum.

The Welcome Walls were built in 2010 to pay tribute to those migrants who arrived in WA by sea, but Consumer Protection acting commissioner Gary Newcombe said scammers had contacted a family and demanded almost $600 to stay on the wall.

He said the family refused and reported it to the Museum and WA Police.

“Scammers continually fabricate various ways to trick a person into paying money for something which is normally free or paying bogus fees supposedly to a Government department,” he said.

“They are also looking for something which has some emotional attachment, hoping their intended victim may act emotionally and hastily, before taking time to check out if the demand for money is legitimate.

“People who get these random calls or emails from people purporting to be from Government departments demanding money, should independently contact that organisation to verify if the approach is genuine, but don’t call any numbers given by the callers or click on any links in emails they have sent.”

WA Museum acting chief executive Diana Jones said others who may be approached by the same people should ignore the demand for money and hang up immediately.

“I am appalled anyone would want to extort money in this way and I want to assure everyone whose names are listed on our Welcome Walls that their recognition is safe and there is absolutely no intention to charge a fee for those names to remain,” she said.

“We are concerned that those who are potential targets may be seniors in our community or come from migrant families where English might not be their first language.

“These families would regard their place on the Welcome Walls as especially important, and that makes this attempt to steal money from such a vulnerable group even more heinous.”

Visit www.scamnet.wa.gov.au for more information.