How to sidestep a tele-swindler
Our very own Peita D recently received a phone call from a legitimate Canberra based phone number. Identifying themselves as the Australian Tax Office, they warned Peita that if her tax bill was not paid over the phone right now, the police would be at her front door to personally collect the money. Thankfully Peita knew something was abit off and ended the call, but it had us worried how tricky these fraudsters have become.
Last year alone, Scam Watch reported $83 million squandered from the Australian public by scammers. 38% of this from scams staged over the phone. So how do you spot a phony phone call and what do you do to stop these crooks in their tracks?
Listen to the warning signs
- Unsolicited contact, phone call is out of the blue
- You’ve never heard of the company before
- The caller is very persistent and can be aggressive
- They are unable to confirm specific details
- Request to pay via a money transfer as soon as possible
Do some digging
Collect as much information as you can from the caller. What is their name? Where are they calling from? How did they get your number? How can you call them back? If you are unable to collect this information, put the number they are calling from into Google. You will find a list of websites where people have had similar experiences, often citing the words ‘THIS IS A SCAM!’
Fingers crossed you have realised early in the peace that the caller is up to no good. Head straight to www.scamwatch.gov.au and report the scam caller. The more information you can report on the phone call, the more you can help other people from falling victim to these tricksters.