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Shepparton residents warned about phone scams

Police are warning Shepparton residents to be careful due to a rise in the number of phone scams.

CHLOE WARBURTON June 19, 2014 3:37am

Residents in Shepparton are reminded to be wary of online and phone scammers after new figures showed the number of scams is on the rise.

Figures released on Monday in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Targeting Scams report showed the most common type of scam in Australia was telephone scams, increasing 13 per cent.

Among the most prominent telephone scams reported are fake call centre operators impersonating technical staff from different organisations, such as Telstra.

Shepparton police Crime Prevention Officer Glenn Gibson encouraged Shepparton residents to sign up to the Do Not Call register and refer to the ACCC’s SCAMwatch website if they were unsure about a phone call they received.

‘‘Shepparton certainly isn’t over-represented in phone call scams, but if someone contacts us about a phone call they believe to be a scam and they want to warn others, we encourage them to register the call with SCAMwatch,’’ Leading Senior Constable Gibson said.

‘‘The idea is don’t respond to an offer, don’t rush into anything, and do your research.

‘‘It’s often the elderly at home who can fall prey to this — we encourage them to talk to family members and really take care when they get phone calls like this.’’

The ACCC statistics revealed nearly 37000 reports about online scams involving internet and email and the combined financial losses of Australians involved in telephone and online scams this past year was more than $71million.

Telstra Country Wide area general manager for Northern Victoria and Sunraysia Steve Tinker said the figures are a timely reminder that personal information is a valuable asset that criminals will go to great lengths to access.

‘‘The criminals operating these scams have only one thing in mind and that is to try and trick consumers into disclosing their personal details so those details can then be used illegally,’’ he said.

‘‘Consumers in Shepparton should be alert to any attempts to trick them into disclosing their credit card or banking details over the telephone, via email or the internet.’’

To report a scam, phone the ACCC on 1300795995 or go to www.scamwatch.gov.au To join the Do Not Call register, go to www.donotcall.gov.au

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