Police target of email scam
Warning to be wary of requests for bank details
BRAZEN scammers are thumbing their noses at fraud laws, even targeting Townsville police in their latest scam.
Official police email accounts were targeted in an email scam involving fake Red Bull advertisers offering $ 500 a week for anyone willing to place a logo on their vehicle.
Senior Community Crime Prevention Officer Brad Taylor, who received one of the emails, said the involvement of police was likely due to scammers collecting a “pool” of email addresses to target.
Mr Taylor said the email was convincing but, like most scams, too good to be true.
The email spruiked “no fees” and asked recipients to reveal personal information.
“It starts simply, but once they have the basic details they will ask for bank account details so they can transfer the money,” Mr Taylor said.
The scammers can then take as much money as is available in the account.
And once it’s gone, it’s usually gone for good, with police limited in their ability to track down the funds.
Mr Taylor encouraged any scam victims to contact police and Scamwatch via the scamwatch. gov. au website.
Other reported scams circulating in Townsville include a frightening phone call that tries to convince the recipient to pay up or face arrest.
“One lady was told over the phone to transfer $ 5000 to someone claiming to be from the Department of Public Prosecutions and that police were on their way with an arrest warrant for unpaid taxes,” Mr Taylor said.
“She was so scared that she went to her neighbour to try and borrow the money.”
Mr Taylor said anyone who received a call or email asking for personal information to ignore or delete it, or seek advice from a friend if unsure.
Pensioner John Parry, 72, was called last week by someone pretending to be from the Australian Bankers’ Association.
“They had an accent ... they tried to confuse me with the language barrier and told me they had a $ 6000 refund for my electricity or phone bill.”
The caller hung up when Mr Taylor refused to reveal any personal information, but he is concerned more vulnerable people could be fooled.
“Old- aged pensioners ... who aren’t switched on would be easy targets for mongrels like this,” he said.