Phone scammers impersonate Australian Federal Government staff to request financial details

I HAVE had calls from well-spoken, accented people saying they are from the Federal Government.

I told the first four callers they were not and they hung up.

I then had another call last Monday morning and the calls stopped when I made it clear the callers had been calling non-stop.

I have since heard that the callers, after convincing people, asked for addresses, phone numbers and credit card details.

Your readers should be aware of the ‘new trick of the trade’ that these con merchants are now pulling. I fear someone will get burnt very easily because of these beautifully spoken callers.

Name and address supplied.

– A Consumer Protection spokeswoman said it was receiving lots of reports about callers saying they were from the Federal Government and offered a $7000 rebate but people needed to pay fees to receive it.

The department’s usual advice, given below, about out-of-the-blue calls from official organisations applies:

p If someone phones you and says they are from a government agency, official organisation or reputable company that does not mean they are who they say they are. If the caller requests personal or financial details, or payment of any kind, alarm bells should ring.

p When in doubt about the authenticity of a call, don’t commit to anything. Instead, hang up and call the government department or company directly to verify that the call was genuine.

Do not use contact details provided by the caller. Instead, find the number via an independent source such as your last bill, the phone book or the organisation’s official website.

– Never confirm or provide personal details, credit card numbers or other account information over the phone unless you initiated the call and can verify the purpose for which you are providing that information.

– Say no and hang up if a cold caller wants remote access to your computer even if they claim to be from a reputable IT or telecommunications company.