Local tells of smooth scam

A Forbes resident who cannot believe she got taken in by scammers is warning others that they are very smooth and convincing.

The lady came into the Advocate office on Tuesday to say she had been taken in by people trying to sell her a device that would block unwanted phone calls. 

The caller told her the device would connect to her phone to block callers from telemarketers.

“I said, I couldn’t see anywhere to plug it in but they said a technician would be in contact to explain,” she said.

Although she initially resisted, the caller did eventually get her bank card details to process a $140 fee.

The local was able to cancel her card promptly before anything happened, and has since spoken to Crime Stoppers about the scam.

Though their voices were accented, they gave her their names as Mark Wilson and Shane Williams, they were happy to put her through to a “supervisor” and promised she would receive a letter of confirmation then the device. 

But the number they gave her to call back – 0281032090 – has consistently been engaged when she has tried to return calls.

The local lady said she could not believe how convincing the callers had been and wanted to warn others. 

Scamwatch advice

The following advice appears on the Scamwatch website: The Australian Communications and Media Authority has received reports from members of the public of scam callers claiming to be from the Do Not Call Register.

They have attempted to convince consumers to provide them with personal and financial details.

The scammers claim to be from, or work on behalf of, the ACMA, the Do Not Call Register or ‘the government’. Typically, the scammer starts the call by asking consumers how many telemarketing or nuisance calls they receive in a day.

The caller then offers a device they claim will prevent all unwanted calls, explaining there is a charge for installation (e.g. $170) that can be paid in installments by credit card.

The caller may also indicate they are pretending to be a telemarketer to test whether the consumer’s phone company would let the call through.

The ACMA does not make calls to the public offering services related to the Do Not Call Register. It does not offer any ‘device’ that can be installed to stop telemarketing calls and is not aware of any device that would be effective for this purpose.

Photo Sydney Morning Herald, by Erin Jonasson.

Photo Sydney Morning Herald, by Erin Jonasson.