Scammers hitting Fraser Coast hard
UNSCRUPULOUS scam artists are hitting the Fraser Coast, and everyone from Telstra to Australia Post is warning residents to watch out.
After a local woman contacted the Chronicle with concerns over a possible telephone scam, Telstra confirmed the call was a hoax and said residents should exercise caution when answering the door or telephone to marketers falsely claiming to be from Telstra.
The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said she was called by a man claiming to be from "XLN Telecom", which he said was a Telstra service provider.
He told the woman her good record as a Telstra customer meant she was being offered a special package as a reward, which included a number of deals on local calls, mobile calls and internet access.
It could all be hers for a payment of $45 a month, he said.
She declined because she was suspicious about the offer.
However, it didn't end there as she received two more calls this month, from someone saying they were from Venus Telecom. They were offering almost exactly the same "reward" for being a long-time Telstra customer.
"I can confirm that Telstra is not affiliated with these companies in any way and therefore, this appears to be a hoax," said a Telstra spokeswoman.
"A simple way to verify a telemarketer calling you is from Telstra is to ask them to provide your account number, and the amount of your last bill," she said.
"If they can't provide that information, they aren't an authorised Telstra caller."
Meanwhile, Fraser Coast residents were being sent a warning letter from Australia Post, ASIC, the Australian Crime Commission and the police, warning of investment frauds from organised criminal groups.
The letter states criminals work via telephone calls and the mail service, offering persuasive cold-calling techniques, sophisticated websites and legitimate looking brochures.
The letter asks residents to "be aware of this risk if you are called at random by someone offering an unsolicited investment opportunity".
If you receive a phone call out of the blue, always ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and who they represent. And try and record the caller's telephone number.
If you're not sure the person on the other end of the phone is legitimate, hang up and call the organisation by using their official contact details.
Do not share your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
Don't respond to text messages or missed calls that come from numbers you don't recognise.
Be careful of phone numbers beginning with 190. These are charged at a premium rate and can be expensive.
If your alarm bells are ringing or you think something's not quite right, just hang up.