Pay up or your phone will be disconnected, woman told
FRASER Coast Councillor Rolf Light is warning elderly residents to beware of phone scams after his own mother was contacted by crooked cold callers.
"My mum is 87 years old and she lives by herself," Cr Light said.
"She was a little bit upset after she apparently got a caller saying they were from Telstra and they wanted her credit card immediately or they said they would disconnect the phone because there was a new licence agreement of $299.
"And she asked them to put it on the bill or send her something in writing and they said 'no you have to do it now or we'll disconnect the phone'.
"Now luckily, she said no and didn't hand over any details."
Soon after the incident Cr Light contacted Telstra, who confirmed the call was part of an ongoing scam.
Cr Light said he feared this most recent phone scam was particularly targeting elderly residents, who might be more easily bullied into handing over details.
"I just thought that with our older demographics here in Hervey Bay and Maryborough, and such an aggressive tactic on the phone, they must be targeting older people," he said.
"For older people, especially when they're told they'll disconnect the phone, well for someone older that's pretty devastating if it's their only form of communication."
A spokesman for Telstra confirmed recent figures that revealed more than 400 Telstra customers throughout August have complained about scammers.
"Customers need to be prepared for scam callers and the advice we give them is to hang up immediately, and report the call to the ACCC via their Scamwatch website," he said.