Phone scammers back on the hunt on South Coast

"If in doubt, hang up!" South Coast residents are being warned about warned abiout an increse of phone scam activity.

Members of the community have been urged to be aware of scams operating over the phones.

NSW South Coast Crime Prevention Unit co-ordinator, Sergeant Kevin Henry said unfortunately, people particularly elderly members of the community, are targeted and are still becoming victims of the scams and losing substantial sums of money.

"Police urge people not to provide any personal details or financial details to anyone over the phone," Sgt Henry said.

"South Coast Police has recently received several reports where substantial amounts of money have been lost.

"If you receive a call of this type and if the person calling cannot verify who they are or give a local contact hang up.

"If in doubt hang up."

Sgt Henry said these types of calls can be identified most times, as it is obvious it is from a call centre as other callers can be heard in the background.

The police, banks or taxation department will not ring you and demand money immediately or for funds to be transferred immediately.

South Coast Police District Crime Prevention Unit co-ordinator, Sergeant Kevin Henry

"On occasions, the caller can sound very pre-rehearsed or pre-recorded," he said.

"Examples of recent scams in the area are - money is owing and the Australian Federal Police are on the line with the caller demanding urgent payment.

"An accusation of inappropriate computer use and the need for payment to clear your computer.

"Computer faults - fee requested to fix your computer or telephone or the tax office requiring payment.

"On one occasion a person was called about an outstanding payment and the details related to a recent purchase and payment he made.

"When informed the payment was not met due to a faulty transaction, the victim paid a second time, unfortunately directly to the scammer.

"The police, banks or taxation department will not ring you and demand money immediately or for funds to be transferred immediately.

"Any inquiry you receive in relation to a purchase you may have made, do not proceed with any payment with this person.

"Ask for the person's name you are talking to and a local contact number to ring them back or for the issue to be put in writing.

"If a legitimate inquiry the details will be correct.

"It is also advisable to check the contact number against the business details known to you.

"But, if in doubt politely hang up."

He said a legitimate business would not expect you to complete a transaction of this type and would be understanding why due to the risks of scams.

"The best advice police can give is do not participate in the transaction of any funds after receiving a phone call," Sgt Henry said.

"If in doubt hang up and/or obtain details for contact to be made, then have a friend or a family member to assist the inquiry.

"Do not complete any fund transaction."

This story Police warn of telephone scams first appeared on Bega District News.