Scammers targeting the region

28th Jul 2020

Residents of New England are being warned not to fall for financial scams operating in the region.
New England Police District have received complaints in recent weeks of scams which have the potential to defraud residents of vast sums of money.
Residents should be wary of emails, faxes, SMS and phone calls purporting to be from local police and or the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Inspector Matt Hemsworth said that recent calls have included persons claiming to be officers from Armidale Police Station and requesting personal details from potential victims due to tax issues.
‘These scams are designed to scare you into thinking you are in trouble and must act quickly to avoid to fines, charges or loss of funds,” Inspector Hemsworth said.
“Don’t be fooled into paying money or providing personal information. Hang up and contact police, the ATO direct or via your tax agent.”
Residents should be reminded that neither the local police or ATO will ever:
• threaten you with immediate arrest
• ask you to pay money to receive a refund or payment from us
• ask you to pay a debt via iTunes vouchers, or pre-paid credit card or store gift cards
• ask you to provide personal information, such as your tax file number (TFN) or credit card number, via email or SMS
• ask you to pay money into a personal bank account
• direct you to download files from the internet, or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself from scams which residents should employ:
• NEVER send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust
• Do not give out 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
• Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam): delete them
• Do not click on any links in a spam email, or open any files attached to them
• Never call a telephone number that you see in a spam email or text message
• If you want to access an internet account website, use a bookmarked link or type the address in yourself: NEVER follow a link in an email
• Check the website address carefully - scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses
• Never enter your personal, credit card or online account information on a website that you are not certain is genuine
• Never send your personal, credit card or online account details through an email or text message