Lo­cals the tar­get of scams

Childers res­i­dents warned it could hap­pen to you

Isis Town and Country - - News - Jodie Dixon Jodie.Dixon@isistc­news.com.au

“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.

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