BE ALERT: A Proserpine region resident has issued a warning for others.
BE ALERT: A Proserpine region resident has issued a warning for others. Francis Witsenhuysen

Be alert for phone scams

"I PICK up the phone and it is an automated female voice on the other end telling me it's the Nbn,” Lyn Burke said as she issued a warning to other Proserpine residents.

The voice continued on to tell Lyn there was a problem with her billing, the company had tried to contact her and unless she pressed one to talk to a technician her nbn linked home phone would be disconnected.

"Well I live way out of town so I'm not getting the nbn at least until 2020 if I'm lucky,” the Crystalbrook resident said.

"So I knew it was a load of crud bucket and I just hung up. My home-phone is still on so I was right and it was a scam.”

But Ms Burke thinks other Proserpine residents not in her situation might take the call seriously.

"People have seen the guys around town installing the nbn, I think especially some of our elderly community members might take the call seriously and be caught in the scam,” she said.

Officer in charge of Proserpine police Alan Davis said although he hadn't heard any other reports of the phone call locally, scams are an ongoing issue which can be challenging as most are operated internationally.

"Scams can be quite upsetting due to them seeming so personal, not to mention the financial aspect,” he said.

"Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia.

"There's no one group of people who are more likely to become a victim of a scam, all of us may be vulnerable to a scam at some time.”

The Federal Government has an online reporting tool for any scams called ACORN - Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network avaliable here: https://www.acorn.gov.au.

"This is in conjunction with all state police networks and allows scams to be documented and followed up in the correct jurisdiction,” Snr Sgt Davis said.

"Another handy source is Scamwatch.”

Run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Scamwatch is resource for knowing what scams are doing the rounds in Australia.

Snr Sgt Davis explained Scamwatch also had a reporting tool and a "Get Help” function, should you fall prey to one.

"ACORN has numerous tips in regards to online and scam safety and awareness and anyone suspicious of a "cold call” or email should first check it against known current scams listed on the ACORN site and Scamwatch, then report it via the online tool,” he said.

"It is always best to stop and think, "Is this for real?”

Be alert scams exist and know who you are dealing with.

"If it is an unsolicited call, as in you didn't ask them to call you, then you should start thinking this is a scam.

"Proserpine Police can assist persons to submit these online reports should they require assistance.”

Last August Scamwatch reported 316 complaints in regards to Nbn scams with nearly $28,000 reported lost.

For more information visit: www.scamwatch .gov.au/news/ watch-out-for-nbn-scams


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