A scammer targeted a Whitsunday resident by pretending to be a police officer. Photo: File
A scammer targeted a Whitsunday resident by pretending to be a police officer. Photo: File

Scammer masquerading as cop targets Whitsunday resident

A scammer pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office and then Whitsunday Police Station has prompted police to issue a warning to the community.

On February 26 about 2pm, the Whitsunday resident received a call from a person claiming to be from the ATO.

The resident was told their tax file number had been compromised and criminals had used it fraudulently multiple times.

As a result, the caller said they needed the resident’s bank account information to help with responding to the matter.

Wisely, the resident refused and told the caller they would not be providing any such information.

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Minutes later, the Whitsunday resident received a call and their phone showed it was coming from Whitsunday Police Station.

The call was answered and another man, who said he was a police officer, repeated the same information about the resident’s tax file number.

Again, the resident refused to provide any information.

The scammer swore and abused the resident before the call ended.

The resident contacted the Whitsunday Police Station where officers confirmed the incident was an attempt to scam money and identifying information from the resident.

Police are urging residents to be careful with who they give personal information to. Picture: Gaye Gerard
Police are urging residents to be careful with who they give personal information to. Picture: Gaye Gerard

Police want to remind residents if someone phones and you do not know definitively who they are, do not provide any personal information.

“Police or any other legitimate government department or financial institution will never call you and request your personal banking information,” a Queensland Police statement said.

“It is important to verify a caller’s identity before providing any personal information or payments of any sort, irrespective of the phone number displayed, or who a caller claims to work for.”

If you are unsure if the person you are dealing with is a police officer, you can request their name, rank and registered number and then contact Policelink on 131 444 to verify their identity.

A scammer targeted a Whitsunday resident but hey did not manage to get personal information.
A scammer targeted a Whitsunday resident but hey did not manage to get personal information.

Members of the public can learn about scams here.

If you have been the victim of a cybercrime, you can report this by clicking here.

Police in the Mackay and Whitsunday district work hard to keep residents, business owners and other organisations up to date with the latest scams and cybercrime issues.

If you would like to arrange a presentation from a police officer for your organisation, email police via crimeprevention.mky@police.qld.gov.au.


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