Don’t fall for latest scams

SCAMMERS claiming to be from the federal government are targeting Northern Rivers residents offering substantial refunds on bank fees.

The Northern Star has received several calls from readers who live at Lismore, Goonellabah and Bonalbo and who were targeted by scammers over the past week.

Kay Crockett of Bonalbo said a woman named Christine claimed to be from the federal government and said she was entitled to a refund on bank fees of $7286.

The caller knew her name, address, date of birth and was trying to get Mrs Crockett to confirm her banking details.

Mrs Crockett said she immediately smelt a rat.

She was asked to take $180 and meet a courier, who would deliver her refund cheque at Bonalbo post office in one hour.

"When I called back and told the woman I had reported the phone call to the police she immediately hung up," she said.

Lismore retiree Carolyn Adams reported receiving a similar phone call promising a refund of more than $7200 on bank fees from the federal government this week.

Mrs Adams said the caller, an Asian woman named Lisa, asked her to confirm her date of birth, but never got to asking for money before she hung up.

Mrs Adams said she reported the call to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC SCAMwatch website and warned friends on social media.

Both women said they were concerned elderly people could be ripped off.

An ACCC spokesman said SCAMwatch urged people to never pay money upfront to receive 'free' money - this is advance fee fraud.

"Australian Government departments will never contact you via phone or email to ask you to pay tax or upfront amounts in order to claim a refund," the SCAMwatch website states.

"You should also never confirm or provide personal details."


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