Media Release | August 12, 2021
The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is warning people about phone scams after being contacted by a large number of people reporting attempted scams via mobile phone contact.
Some instances involved text messages from overseas (with multiple spelling mistakes so easy to spot) while others were phone calls from overseas numbers.
Ms Kealy personally received four international calls yesterday from the UK, Russia, Thailand and Belarus - none answered, all presumed to be scammers.
“I also had a call from a Shepparton number which I answered to hear a pre-recorded message stating it was Amazon calling regarding my order for an iPhone 11, and if this wasn’t correct I should press 1 which I assume would have resulted in them asking for my bank details so they could process a refund,” Ms Kealy said.
Ms Kealy said there were a few simple rules you should follow to avoid phone scammers:
- If you don’t know the number, don’t answer it. They’ll leave a message if they really want to talk to you, then you can choose whether to call them back or not.
- Never share your bank details over the phone.
- If you’re not sure if the call is legit or not, ask for their number then end the call. You can then either check the number matches the call display or check it against publicly listed numbers for any registered company.
- If you do answer the phone, ask for the callers’ name, company name and phone number (a legal requirement to provide) and record the time of the call. You then have everything you need to lodge a scam report. Most scammers will just hang up when asked these details.
There are also three things you can do if you are being slammed by scammers:
- Make a report to ScamWatch. This is the Federal Government watchdog for scamming activity. It only takes a few minutes to report and they will get back to you. A screen shot of the phone number, time and date of the call really helps to track the scammers down.
For more info or make a report go to www.scamwatch.gov.au
- Report spam to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA):
- Forward SMS or MMS spam to them on 0429 999 888 (standard message charges apply).
- Forward email spam to [email protected] Don’t change the subject line or add any text.
You should receive an auto-response to your email.
More info is available at www.acma.gov.au/stop-getting-spam
- Contact your telecommunications provider for advice on spam filtering or phone blocking
Ms Kealy said she has reported her calls to ScamWatch and has contacted ACMA regarding the spike in scam activity, and Telstra to ascertain if they aware of the spike in scamming and what they’re doing to help stop it.
“I encourage everyone to make others aware of the spike in scam activity, especially friends and family who may be more trusting and so vulnerable to this type of attack,” Ms Kealy said.
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