Man foils phone scam
Listening to his instinct helped a Matamata man avoid losing potentially thousands of dollars in a phone scam that is currently being investigated by police.
The man, who preferred not to be named, said he felt wary as soon as someone called ‘‘ Mr Jack’’ phoned him, claiming to be ringing on behalf of the Department of Internal Affairs.
‘‘He talked about banks overcharging on credit card fees and that they were doing a survey. He said a cheque for over $3000 was on the way, and then read out the cheque number.’’ A seemingly reasonable start but then the conversation changed.
‘‘He told me to get the money I had to ring his supervisor in Auckland to confirm, so I did but then that person started talking about me paying them a fee of $254 for the work they had done and asking how I was going to pay it.’’ Hanging up, the man headed straight to the police station to report what had happened and while there was phoned again by the scammers, this time from a lower North Island area code.
‘‘ I was lucky in that they weren’t really believable, they called me by my nickname which the government wouldn’t do but they are obviously doing a bit of research before they call and getting the names from somewhere.’’
Sergeant David Hall from the Western Waikato Police says a number of complaints have been received about this particular scam.
‘‘It would appear that a number of the victims have obliged by paying the fee or providing their personal account details only to discover their account has been debited rather than credited.’’
Mr Hall warns that police inquiries in conjunction with the DIA have established the fraudulent nature of it.
‘‘Both departments advise that people who receive such calls should contact police to make a complaint. This is another case of fraud that members of the public may unwittingly become victims of. Police advise that you should never give your bank account details or pin numbers to anyone over the phone or on the computer via the internet that you do not know. If in doubt, seek advice from police or call the parent company of the person making the request to verify the person and organisation’s details.’’