Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe today reiterated a warning to New South Wales residents to hang up on scam phone calls, especially if the caller claims to be from a government agency or a bank and requests money transfers via Western Union or deposits of money into bank accounts.
Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had today received several reports of scam calls to consumers in Bathurst.
“Callers claim they are representing Fair Trading or banks and some use the names Thomas Wilson, Patrick Turner or Jennifer Robinson,” he said.
“NSW Fair Trading does not cold call consumers and does not request payment via phone calls. No one of these names works for Fair Trading.”
The Commissioner said scam callers tell consumers they have obtained funds owing to them from a bank and that in order to receive the money, people need to deposit money for administrative purposes, via Western Union to individuals or into bank accounts.
“One consumer from Bathurst reported receiving a recent call asking her whether she was satisfied with her bank and asking which bank she used,” he said.
“The consumer then received a subsequent call regarding a refund of bank fees from her bank, with the advice that Fair Trading would be in touch. Another consumer from Bathurst did provide some personal account details but on contacting Fair Trading, was advised to cancel his account.”
A consumer from Macksville recently paid almost $2,000 via Western Union to Lal Nun Pull, Maria Nikonova and K Thauga in New Delhi in India. She was told she would receive $5,800 in bank fees from two banks in Australia.
Mr Stowe said Fair Trading was investigating the use of a bank account in Australia that scammers had set up for the deposit of money.
“One consumer in Coffs Harbour was given the details of an Australian bank account to pay money into, so Fair Trading is determined to talk to whoever owns that account,” he said.
“Recent scam calls have requested between $500 and $2,000 from consumers to access bank refunds. When consumers say they can’t afford higher amounts, the scammers lower the amount requested.
“Anyone receiving such calls should not respond and report the matter to Fair Trading on 13 32 20.”
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