The Echonetdaily has been contacted by locals who are receiving calls from people posing as Telstra.
‘They know your name address and say they are alerting you to SCAMwatch and ask for your card details,’ said one local who called in.
‘They are targeting the elderly and are very convincing.’
On April 24 the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and SCAMwatch reported that, ‘The ACCC is warning consumers to beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications providers and demanding payments.’
‘SCAMwatch has received 5,000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12 months, with reported losses of close to $8,000.
‘”The scammers typically impersonate well known companies such as Origin, AGL, Telstra and Optus via email, to fool people into assuming the bills are real,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
‘“I advise consumers to contact their communications or energy provider directly via the company’s official channels to verify that the email or letter is actually from them.”’
Other tips on how consumers can protect themselves:
- If you receive a bill outside of your normal billing cycle, or don’t expect to receive an overdue notice, call your provider to check whether it is legitimate.
- If you are not a customer of the company simply delete the email.
- Never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender – they may contain a malicious virus.
- Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email or over the phone.
- Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.
The ACCC encourages anyone who thinks they have been scammed to report it to Scamwatch and and advises following @Scamwatch_gov(link is external) on Twitter and subscribing to Scamwatch radar alerts to get up-to-date warnings.