LOCAL MP Warren Entsch is warning older residents in Leichhardt to be on the alert for a scam that purports to tell people they are owed money by the Federal Government.
“I’ve had a number of people contact my office in the last week, all pensioners and retirees, who have been phoned and told they are owed money due to a Federal Government error,” Mr Entsch said. “The callers claim to be either from the Australian Government, the Finance Department in the Australian Government, or Australian United Charities.
“They are telling people that they are owed money amounts from $2000 up to $220,000 – and by asking whether people want it transferred to their bank account, are gaining their personal bank details.
“What’s really disturbing is that the people being targeted are all pensioners aged 70 to 90 years, who may be more susceptible to believing that it is a legitimate call. This is very concerning and I don’t want to see anyone in Leichhardt fall victim to this scam.”
Mr Entsch said all the callers have had foreign accents, and in some cases have provided a return telephone number and reference number when asked.
“If people do receive calls of this nature, and they’re unsure as to whether it’s legitimate, just ask for a return phone number and say you’ll call them back,” Mr Entsch said. “In the meantime, contact the Australian Government’s ScamWatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au
“The website has a list of common scams to be aware of down the left-hand side of the page. This is updated regularly as the crooks behind these schemes get more inventive. If you’re still not sure, or haven’t got internet access, you can ring the ScamWatch ACCC Infocentre on 1300 795 995.”