Scamwatch sends out a false call alert from the Australian Border Force

Scamwatch sends out a false call alert from the Australian Border Force

Tech Highlights:

  • In a statement to 7 News, an ACCC spokesperson said at that point, recipients should “hang up immediately”. Once the individual dialled “one”, “(the scammers) would ask the reporter (victim) to google their local Australian Federal Police phone number and (they had) called the reporter from that number through spoofing”, the spokesperson explained.

  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has advised consumers to be cautious when answering strange phone calls, as thousands of people have fallen victim to a new compelling hoax. So far this year, Scamwatch has received over 4940 reports of the scam, which includes someone posing as an Australian Border Force (ABF) officer and has resulted in over $121,800 in financial losses. Unsuspecting people got a recorded message from the claimed officer, claiming that a package sent to them had been intercepted and impounded for allegedly containing prohibited components. According to the message, the parcel and the receipt had resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant.

“Scammers would then get the victim to share bank account details, driving licence, passport, and a photo of reporter holding the licence. With these details, scammers can compromise the victim’s identity, with the photo being useful to pass a variety of institutions’ Know Your Customer checks,” they added. The scam is believed to be the latest variation of two others – one impersonating officers from the Australian Taxation Officer and the other the AFP, that also involve threatening individuals if they don’t immediately make a payment.

“The Australian Border Force will not call, email or contact you via social media and threaten to arrest you.Warning over fake Woolworths textWarning over new photo text scam. “(And) no Australian government agency (law enforcement included), will demand payment for a fine over the phone.” Australians should “never provide bank details, passport or copies of photo identification to someone who had called you out of the blue” and know that “it is OK to hang up and check the person’s story by contacting the police or government organisation”.

The ploy has seen unsuspecting individuals receive a recorded message from someone claiming to be an Australian Border Force officer. Picture: AAP Image/Stefan Postles
The ploy has seen unsuspecting individuals receive a recorded message from someone claiming to be an Australian Border Force officer. Picture: AAP Image/Stefan Postles
The ACCC spokesperson urged Aussies to have their wits about them. “Law enforcement agencies and government departments will never ask you to pay a fine with cash, cryptocurrencies, or gift cards,” they said. “They will not call and demand you transfer funds to a bank account.

 

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