The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported a spike in scam phone calls, prompting the commission to issue a warning about the dangers of disclosing confidential information over the phone.
Phone scammers have recently been targeting members of the public by pretending to act on behalf of Centrelink, the Department of Human Services or the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN). Although victims have tended to be aged over 65 the ACCC’s Scamwatch service warns that everyone in the community should be vigilant.
Be highly alert if the caller asks you to:
- Make payment via wire transfer or iTunes cards
- Provide personal banking information
- Download software onto your computer allowing remote access to your device
Simple steps you can take to protect yourself from scammers:
1) Never provide financial or personal details in response to unsolicited calls
2) In case of any doubts about the identity of a caller, contact the organisation directly using independently sourced details
3) Verify the caller’s identity by calling the organisation switchboard
4) If the call is unsolicited and the caller offers you additional benefits, hang up the phone
5) If it sounds ‘too good to be true’ it probably is
For more information on how to recognise a scam visit the Stay Smart Online website.