Locals the target of scams
Childers residents warned it could happen to you
“I AM so embarrassed. I never thought it would happen to me, this time I was scammed,” a local man, who wanted only to be known as “Mr Grey”, said.
Too embarrassed to use his real name, Mr Grey (not his real name) was a prominent business owner for years in Childers and can’t believe he was conned.
Mr Grey says he is fed up with the scamming telemarketers ringing at all hours and he wants it to stop.
Mr Grey knew about some of the scams making the rounds through Childers but just ignored them, thinking it wouldn’t happen to him.
It was a normal day for the freshly retired man in his late 60s, up early as he had been for 40-plus years, as he walked the dog and potted around in the garden.
“The phone rang saying it was the Australian Tax Office, saying I had a bill that was never paid. I didn’t think twice, I gave my details.
“It’s so foolish of me. Thinking back, I can kick myself for being an idiot,” he said.
With tears building up, Mr Grey took a moment to compose himself and apologised for acting emotional.
“I don’t want anybody else to go through what I have been through.”
The scam has taken its toll on the once stern man. He is now too nervous to answer the phone, fearing it is a call from a scammer.
He now screens all incoming calls and won’t answer any call he if doesn’t recognise the number.
“I let every call go to the answering machine and I will call them back,” he said.
“The scammers didn’t manage to get too much from me, but they got some.
“My bank notified me of the situation and the police got involved. I was living on my own at the time but I fear it happening again.
“I want to warn others to be wiser than the scammers and to report it to police.”
A spokesperson for the Queensland police said scammers were becoming more prominent and more people were falling victim to the scams.
The Queensland police recommend that all scams be reported to Scamwatch.
Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging Australians to hang up on and delete tax scams that come via phone or email.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard warned that tax scammers were particularly aggressive so many people feel pressured to pay quickly without question.
The most threatening scammers even say that police are on their way to arrest you but can be stopped if you pay immediately.
To report a scam phone 1300 795 995 or visit the website scamwatch.gov.au
The ATO said while it makes thousands of calls to taxpayers a week, the ATO would never cold call about a debt, would never threaten jail or arrest, and staff certainly wouldn’t behave in an aggressive manner.
If you’re not sure, hang up and call the ATO back on 1800 008 540.
It’s so foolish of me. Thinking back, I can kick myself. — Mr Grey
STEER CLEAR OF SCAMS: Police are warning people to be aware of a tax scam after a Childers man was caught out.