Readers urged to protect ID

FRAUD Week is a time for residents to be aware of threats to their personal identity and financial security and, with a Warwick resident recently called by a scammer, warnings should not be ignored.

A Rose City woman – who did not wish to be identified – said she was called recently by a man claiming to be from wholesale Telstra which was selling a new deal.

“I said no but he said they could mail out some paperwork on it to have a look over,” she said yesterday.

The caller then asked for her address and name and it rang alarm bells when the caller couldn’t understand her name and thought it was something different.

“If they were ringing for Telstra, they should have had my full name and address,” she said.

“Then they asked for a pension card number (which she doesn’t have) and that really rang alarm bells and I said ‘no, you don’t need that’.”

She ended the call only to have the supposed Telstra wholesaler call back and insist on her giving them a pension card number.

“It was definitely something funny,” she said.

“Little old ladies could give out that information.”

The resident warned the community to be wary of giving out personal details over the phone.

“Definitely don’t give personal information. Ring up Telstra or whatever company they say they are representing and find out if they need that information,” she warned.

During the launch of National Consumer Fraud Week, Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor urged Queenslanders to take care when disclosing personal and financial details.

Mr Lawlor said thousands of Australians fell victim to scams each year with the Office of Fair Trading receiving 2173 complaints relating to scams in 2009, an increase of more than 800 on 2008.

“One in 20 Australians will be scammed this year, with consumers set to lose more than $1 billion,” he said.

Mr Lawlor said scams could target anyone and were increasingly reaching people’s homes from multiple sources – including through the post, email, door-to-door and over the phone.

“Unfortunately many scam victims don’t report their experience because they feel humiliated when they realise they have been duped and they’d rather bear the amount of money they have lost out of fear of embarrassment,” he said.

For information on protecting yourself from scams, visit www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.scamwatch.gov.au



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