Police are urging the community to talk to members of their family and wider community about scams after an elderly Mt Gambier resident was taken advantage of today.
The victim was persuaded by a telephone caller to help ‘trap’ a hacker through the use of iTunes cards – a ruse that has been reported to police before.
In this instance the victim lost money to the scammer and was only prevented from losing more because of the daily spend limit on their credit card.
At times the would-be scammer will solicit the person’s help by pretending they are from Telstra or other credible organisations such as the Police, Centrelink or the Australian Taxation Office.
They will encourage the victim to not discuss the matter with anyone, making it even more important that the community work together to become educated about these scams.
Government agencies do NOT seek payments – even when ‘urgent’ - in iTunes cards. The gift cards are valuable to pay for Apple products, but are not a legitimate way to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, debts, computer servicing or utility bills.
As noted by Apple (https://support.apple.com/itunes-gift-card-scams): ”It's important to know that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership.”
Unfortunately many of the people who have fallen prey to these scammers are older members of the community who have less experience with the technology involved.
The scammers are very confident on the phone and very persuasive, at times keeping the victim on the phone while they go to buy the iTunes cards.
SA Police are asking the community to spread the word about these incidents – talk to your friends, relatives or wider community about this type of crime.
- if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
- get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment
- always know who you are communicating with and where your information is going
- If you are uncertain, confirm the contact is legitimate through methods other than what they have provided
- never give your personal details, passwords, credit card or online account details to a person you cannot identify in an official capacity
- never give an unsolicited person remote access to your computer. You may compromise the security of your device and your personal information.
- ensure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
More information is available at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website.