Police are warning people in the Woolgoolga area about a phone scam targeting residents in the area.
Police have received two reports in the past month of similar incidents where people have lost money as a result of a scam, which appear to be targeting the Indian community.
In both instances the victims have received a call from a person claiming to be from the Department of Immigration stating that their visa, or a relative’s visa, has been cancelled and they will be deported.
They are informed that they have an option to pay in order to prevent deportation. They are further instructed to purchase a number of gift card and to provide the caller with the verification numbers.
Police are warning members of the public to be wary of any contact over the phone, and if you believe you have been a victim of thisscam to contact police immediately.
• If you receive an unsolicited phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be a representative from a government department and their call relates to purchasing gift cards, to report the incident to police.
• If you have doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body directly. Don’t rely on contact details provided by the person – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
• Remember that you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private number or have listed your number on the Australian Government’s Do Not Call Register (link is external). Scammers can obtain your number fraudulently or from anywhere it has been publicly listed such as in a phone book.
• Don’t let scammers pressure you – scammers use detailed scripts to convince you that they’re the real deal and create a high pressure situation to make a decision on the spot.
• Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
• Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
• Never give a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from a reputable business.
• If you think your computer’s security has been compromised, use your security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
• If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
• If you have lost money as a result of this type of scam please report the matter to your local Police Station.
• You can also report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.