Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts today issued an urgent warning to all NSW consumers to avoid a scam where telephone callers, claiming endorsement from NSW Fair Trading, offer to reimburse overcharged bank fees.
“Fair Trading continues to receive reports about the scam,” he said.
“Already this week, four reports have been received from Bathurst and two from Orange, as well as one each from Lithgow, Worrigee, Hoppers Crossing, West Pennant Hills, Bonnyrigg and Dunedoo.
“Since the start of the year Fair Trading has received nearly 60 reports from across the state so this is a major concern.”
The Minster said consumers should hang up if they receive such a call and under no circumstances provide or confirm bank details or make any payment.
“These kinds of scams are not confined to one geographical area,” he said.
“Scammers will target residents indiscriminately, so everyone needs to be very wary.”
The Minister said the callers claim to be ‘reclaim experts’ working with Fair Trading to reclaim overpaid bank fees and they ask for bank account details or confirmation of details.
“Of significant concern is that these scam callers now appear to have a lot of personal information about the people they are calling, including dates of birth, who people bank with and also, in some cases, account types and some numbers,” he said.
Mr Roberts said the name ‘Thomas Wilson’ had previously been used.
“Fair Trading received reports about a ‘Thomas Wilson’ calling people mid last year, alleging he worked for Fair Trading and running a similar scam,” he said. “No one by that name works for Fair Trading.
“Anyone who has already made payments should notify NSW Police.”
Mr Roberts said scammers trade in deception and people should warn their elderly family members, friends and neighbours about the scam.
“For every complaint received by Fair Trading, you can safely assume there are others out there getting taken in and taken for their money,” he said. “Often victims are embarrassed to report they have been scammed, but they shouldn’t feel that way because the scammers use sophisticated and convincing techniques.”
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