Scammer pretending to be police

www.scamwatch.gov.au


Ewan Grant

7 March 2019

Ewan Grant

Article heading image for Scammer pretending to be police

Police have received another report of a scammer claiming to work for SA Police, and someone trying to scam police.

About 12.30pm today, Thursday 7 March, a member of the public received a call from a man who claimed to be a police officer and wanted to talk about tax claims and fraud matters.

Of concern was the fact the telephone number displayed was that of a South Australian police station; however the call was not being made from that location.

The intended victim terminated the call and rang the police station directly to inquire about the “issue”.  Police were able to confirm the call had been made by a scammer.

Unfortunately modifying the caller ID is a simple technique which can be used by scammers as a way to build credibility by making a call or SMS appear to come from a reputable agency.

Another incident occurred yesterday, 6 March, when the Golden Grove Police Station received a series of phone calls from scammers, who quickly hung up when they realised they had called the actual police!

Police wish to reiterate that we never make calls on behalf of the tax department or ask for payments in gift cards.

Irrespective of the phone number displayed, or who an unsolicited caller claims to work for, it is important to take independent steps to verify a caller’s identity before providing any personal information or making payments of any sort.

Scammers often contact people by phone or on the internet – making it important to remember these tips to protect yourself:

  • Hang up when someone you don't know calls
  • Immediately delete emails from people you don't know, and from agencies or businesses that you didn’t agree to receive emails from – do not click on links in those emails
  • Never send money online to someone you haven't met in person
  • If in doubt contact the government agency from a phone number or website that you have located and were not directed to
  • Remember the ATO will not request payment of a debt via iTunes, Google Play cards or Bitcoins
  • 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
  • If you think you have provided your bank account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately
  • 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

Please share this information - and discuss the prevalence of this type of scams with people in your circle who may be less savvy about this type of technology or scam activity.

To report a scam or for further information visit www.scamwatch.gov.au

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