Beware of a scam that I consider to be extremely dangerous. Recently I missed a call from an 02 number. The caller left a message, and when I dialled my message bank, I was greeted by an automated, computerised voice, announcing with some urgency that an affidavit had been filed in my name for a tax fraud, and my house was under surveillance. I was given a number to phone, or have my lawyer phone, with an added warning of urgency. The number even showed up as from Canberra. All very official. I immediately checked the number on Reverse Lookup and found that other people had experienced the same call, and identified it as a scam about tax evasion. I then filed the number neatly in my Spam file in the contacts list on my phone.
I know the steps to take to check a number and to file it in a Spam Folder, but for some residents, the call could spark fear, panic, and even life-threatening health issues. The very least that could happen is the unsuspecting person could make the call to the number and fall victim to the scam that this is.
I tend not to answer calls from numbers I don’t recognise and wait for the caller to leave a message. If the caller has a valid reason for calling me, they will leave a message. Spammers and Scammers tend not to. Another way of identifying possible ‘spam’ or ‘scam’ calls is by the number of rings. Spammers and Scammers will usually only wait for 3-4 rings before hanging up and moving on to the next call.
If you are concerned about any call you receive, check with a family member or friend, and NEVER ever give any personal or banking details over the phone unless you know the person and trust that it is a legitimate reason.
There are a few things you can do to guard against scammers:
- Refuse to give details over the phone
- Check the number on the Reverse Lookup website, or ask someone to do it for you
- If the caller says they are from your bank, don’t give any details but ask for a contact name and tell them you’ll call them back.
- Look up the phone number for your bank and call them.
- Tell them about the call and ask if they had called.
- Learn to be very suspicious about calls you get
- Don’t worry about offending the caller – if they are legitimate, they’ll understand