Terrifying new scam hitting thousands of Australians involves issuing a warning about your post – here’s how to spot the fraudsters
- ACCC has issued a warning after over $121,800 lost to scammers this year
- Scamwatch warned new scam claiming to be Australian Border Force officer
- Receiver is told there is a warrant out for arrest and asked for personal details
- ACCC has told Australians to hang up immediately and report to Scamwatch
Australians are urged to monitor for a new scan targeting thousands of residents, with thieves using your post to steal personal details.
Scamwatch has received over 4,940 reports of the scam involving someone claiming to be an Australian Border Force (ABF) officer. This year alone, the scam has caused over $121,800 in financial losses.
The scam initially involves an automated message suggesting a parcel addressed to the person has been seized because it contains illegal material.
The message states an arrest warrant has been issued due to the parcel, with the recipient told to dial one to speak with an officer.
Scamwatch, run by the ACCC, has issued a warning to Australians about a new scam where individuals over the phone claim to be an Australian Border Force officer
A spokesperson from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who run Scamwatch, said recipients of the call should ‘hang up immediately’ in a statement to 7 News.
‘Once the individual dials “one” (the scammers) would ask the reporter (victim) to Google their local Australian Federal Police phone number and (they had) called the reporter from that number through spoofing,’ the spokesperson explained.
‘Scammers would then get the victim to share bank account details, driving licence, passport, and a photo of reporter holding the licence. With these details, scammers can compromise the victim’s identity, with the photo being useful to pass a variety of institutions’ Know Your Customer checks.’
This terrifying scam is thought to be a variation of two other scams that have been reported to the ACCC before.
They involved one impersonating an Australian Taxation Officer and the other the Australian Federal Police.
Both reportedly threatened receivers of the call if they didn’t immediately make payments.
The ACCC spokesperson warned Australians to stay alert when receiving these calls, stating law enforcement agencies and government departments will never ask people to pay a fine with cash, cryptocurrencies or gift cards.
They also said these agencies will not call and demand payments.
‘(And) no Australian government agency (law enforcement included), will demand payment for a fine over the phone.’
Australians are being told law enforcement and government agencies such as the ABF will never ask for personal details or payments over the phone, especially bank or cryptocurrency transfers or gift vouchers
In an alert released in September, Scamwatch also reported some people were being targeted via social media and email with similar scams about fake arrest warrants.
The offenders reportedly message victims then call them, demanding payments into a nominated bank account, transfer of cryptocurrency, or purchase of online vouchers.
Scamwatch has reported $211million has been lost to various scams in Australia this year, an increase of 89 per cent from the same period last year.